Research on Aging

Published by SAGE Publications
Online ISSN: 0164-0275
Publications
Article
The rise of homeownership in the elderly population from 1940 to 1980 is investigated within the framework of compositional analysis. Recent cohorts have arrived at old age at higher levels of ownership than was previously the case. Using data on all individuals, significant compositional effects on homeownership were found. Changes in the process of homeownership retention have led to higher levels of home ownership among the elderly, but these are comparatively small and became relatively less influential in the latter half of the period investigated. Changes in income distribution and living arrangements accounted for virtually all the increase in homeownership. Developments in living arrangements among the elderly are linked to the increase in homeownership.
 
Article
The study of trends in elderly migration patterns and selectivity found that local mobility rates declined, while migration rates increased between 1960 and 1970. The top ten destination states receiving interstate migrants were similar in both time periods, but there was a discernible swing to the Sunbelt except for California and Mississippi. Intrastate and interstate flows became more selective in terms of household independence measures over the period.
 
Article
Using arrest statistics of the Uniform Crime Reports for the years of 1964 and 1984, this report examines the claim of some commentators of rising levels of and more serious criminality on the part of elderly persons. The first year when arrest figures are broken out by age 65 and over is 1964. There have been sharp rises in elderly arrest rates for three offenses: larceny-theft, driving under influence, and other but traffic. But the rates have fallen sharply for four offenses: public drunkenness, disorderly conduct, gambling, and vagrancy. Both today and 20 years ago, elderly arrests are overwhelmingly for alcohol-related crimes (but the type of "alcohol" crime has changed somewhat). There has been, however, somewhat of a crime-profile shift toward comparatively more arrests for larceny-theft (shoplifting), especially on the part of the elderly female offender. The most important finding is that the proportionate criminal involvement of the elderly is about the same now as two decades ago, in spite of dramatic fluctuations in arrest rates for some offenses. Actually, when considering only the directionality of change, the trend is a small decline in the relative criminality of the elderly across the majority of UCR offenses, including the "serious" crimes. This trend pattern was held for both elderly males and elderly females.
 
Article
Recent changes in the retirement patterns of older women in the United States are examined and the uniformity of changes across occupations is evaluated. Results indicate that both the volume of retirement and labor force reentry increased; women increasingly experienced their first retirement at younger ages; and women's working life expectancy declined while nonworking life expectancy increased due to both declining working life expectancy and lower mortality. Many of these changes were fairly uniform across the occupational structure, maintaining the generally higher levels of working life expectancy in primary occupations. These patterns are compared to those previously observed for older men.
 
Article
This article analyzes the 1971-1976 out-migration pattern of the Canadian male elderly from the 23 Census Metropolitan Areas (CMAs). Migration is conceptualized within a three-level choice framework, and statistical inference is based on a logit model. The findings include that (1) retirement-oriented migration in Canada takes place long before the official retirement age; (2) compared with the young migrants, the elderly migrants are less likely to be metropolitanward and tend to have a more concentrated destination choice pattern; (3) with respect to metropolitanward elderly migrants from the CMAs, the probability of choosing a particular destination is negatively related to the logarithm of distance, cultural dissimilarity, coldness, and gross rent, and positively related to population size, brightness, and housing growth; and (4) compared with the young migrants, the elderly migrants are more sensitive to the environmental variables.
 
Article
Temporal changes in the aggregate distribution of workers' planned ages for retirement can indicate broad shifts in workers' regard of retirement that anticipate future retirement practices. This study compared distributions of planned retirement ages across four measurement times between 1975 and 1984 for groups of approximately 1000 men aged 47-64 at each survey. Results showed two temporal patterns. First, plans were altered somewhat toward late ages between 1975 and 1978, although this upward redistribution of planned ages did not alter the total proportion planning to retire prior to age 65. Second, distributions were stable from 1978 to 1981 to 1984.
 
Article
Predictors of elderly nursing home admissions were identified using the 1982-1984 National Long-Term Care Survey. The authors found age and health factors were important predictors. Gender was not a significant predictor for disabled elderly admissions when controlling for other variables, even though women constitute the vast majority of nursing home residents. Three of four measures of informal support availability and use were not significantly related to nursing home admission by the disabled. Income and asset wealth were also nonsignificant predictors of institutionalization by the disabled community population.
 
Article
The educational gradient of U.S. adult mortality became steeper between 1960 and the mid 1980s, but whether it continued to steepen is less clear given a dearth of attention to these trends since that time. This study provides new evidence on trends in the education-mortality gradient from 1986 to 2006 by race, gender, and age among non-Hispanic whites and blacks using data from the 2010 release of the National Health Interview Survey Linked Mortality File. Results show that, for white and black men, the gradient steepened among older ages because declines in mortality risk across education levels were greater among the higher educated. The gradient steepened among white women, and to a much lesser and only marginally significant extent among black women, largely because mortality risk decreased among the college-educated but increased among women with less than a high school degree. Greater returns to higher education and compositional changes within educational strata likely contributed to the trends.
 
Article
Prior research has documented a link between perceived neighborhood safety and functional limitations including incident mobility limitation, yet no research has explored the association between perceived neighborhood safety and recovery from functional limitations. This study investigates whether perceived neighborhood safety independently predicts recovery. Using longitudinal data from the Health and Retirement Study (HRS) (1996-2008), discrete-time event history models with multiple competing events were estimated using multinomial logistic regression. Robust standard errors were used to adjust for clustering. In the unadjusted model, the odds ratio for recovery from mobility limitations was 1.22 (CI: 1.17, 1.27) for respondents reporting greater neighborhood safety, while, in the fully adjusted model, the odds ratio was 1.11 (CI: 1.05, 1.17). Even after controlling for sociodemographic characteristics and numerous health risk factors, perceived neighborhood safety was a robust predictor of mobility limitation recovery. This research provides further evidence that environmental factors shape functional health outcomes including recovery.
 
Article
We model the relationships between socioeconomic status (SES), the conditions of paid employment, and changes between ages 54 and 65 in a variety of health outcomes: self-reported overall health, musculoskeletal health, and depression. To what extent is SES associated with changes in these health outcomes net of the conditions of paid employment? At the same time, to what extent are the conditions of paid employment independently associated with these outcomes net of SES? To address these questions we use unique data collected from a single cohort of men and women to model changes in these health outcomes between ages 54 and 65. Although results vary across outcomes, it is clear that there are some circumstances in which associations between SES and changes in health can be (at least partly) attributed to working conditions, and that there are other circumstances in which associations between working conditions and changes in health can be (at least partly) attributed to SES. We conclude that the largely disconnected literatures on health disparities (in the social sciences and public health) and job design (in occupational stress and ergonomics) could and should be fruitfully connected.
 
Article
This study examines the relative importance of demographic, resource, and assimilation statuses in explaining the living arrangements of foreign- and native-born Asian and Hispanic elders from 11 origins in 2000 and accounting for why these groups have higher levels of extended living than native-born Whites. Drawing on the 2000 Public Use Microdata 5% Sample (PUMS) files and using logistic regression, the findings show that demographic characteristics are the major determinants of elderly extended living, followed by resource availability, assimilation, and group origin. Assimilation, on the other hand, is the major determinant of group differences between native White and Asian and Hispanic elders. While findings provide support for assimilation theory, the persistence of differentials across Asian and Hispanic groups after controlling for model covariates, and modest increases in extended living for most native-born Asian and Hispanic groups as well as native Whites in the 1990s underscores the enduring nature of ethnic diversity in living arrangements.
 
Article
This article presents data on the number, nature, and availability of activities and services offered by a 31-state sample of 755 senior centers. Centers provide a mean 11.1 activities and 17.6 services-considerably more in number and variety than they made available a decade ago. Health, recreation, nutrition, access to center, and information/assistance are most likely and special/personal counseling, income supplement, and in-home are least likely to be offered.
 
Article
Constriction of social and personal activities is one of the most frequently noted consequences of caring for a frail elder. This study analyzed the correlates of perceived limitations in social activities using data from a national sample of the frail elderly and their caregivers. Two research issues were addressed: 1) What differences in demographic, family, and caregiving attributes are associated with variation in perceived restricted social activities? and, 2) How does the process influencing restriction of social activities vary by family relationship of the caregiver? Higher levels of elder dependency and task demands were characteristic of those who reported social limitations, and daughters and wives were more likely to report such limitations than sons and husbands. Subjective assessment of time and task demands, however, were more important influences than objective caregiving activities for all family caregivers.
 
Article
The purpose of this study was to evaluate the ability of three productive activities (paid employment, volunteer work, and informal helping) to mitigate the negative effects of dual sensory loss (DSL) on depressive symptoms among older adults. Multilevel modeling was used to analyze longitudinal data from the nationally representative Health and Retirement Study. The sample consisted of 2,688 persons: 1,380 who developed DSL during the study and 1,308 who did not. Although participation in each of the productive activities was associated with fewer depressive symptoms for older adults with DSL, volunteering was also the only variable that moderated the relationship between DSL and depressive symptoms. Persons with a DSL who volunteered exhibited a larger decrease in depressive symptoms compared to persons without sensory loss who volunteered. A volunteer intervention for older adults with DSL may be a viable option to help reduce depression in this population.
 
Article
Individual characteristics and environmental constraints were assessed as influences of where old people usually carry out their daily activities. Data were obtained from structured interviews given to a random sample of 400 persons aged 60 and older living in a middle-class urban community. Respondents selected from 4 possible locations (dwelling, neighborhood, community, outside community) to identify where they usually pursued 13 different activities. Multiple regression analyses revealed that old people who pursued their activities outside their proximate residential environment were more likely to be white, separated-divorced, Jewish, employed, had fewer hearing difficulties, had less likely experienced a decline in health, and had available to them more flexible means of transportation. Results had implications for interpreting the effects of old age and environment on the voluntariness of activity patterns.
 
Article
In an attempt to delay institutionalization among elders while supporting their widespread desire for privacy and independence in living style, it has been deemed necessary to adapt the physical and social milieu to fit declining competence. The theoretical rationale underlying current housing policy can be identified in person-environment theories of aging. The aims of this article are to (1) assess critically and expand Lawton's ecological model of aging as it pertains to environmental decisions among the elderly, and (2) test a series of hypotheses derived from the theoretical discussion using a 1987 study of environmental adaptation among 280 elderly, 74 years of age and over, living in the community. The most striking finding is the tendency for older elderly to engage in psychological processes of adaptation to a greater extent than altering the physical or social characteristics of the home environment. The findings suggest extending the Lawton model to include a wider range of subjective attributes of the individual.
 
Article
In this study, utilizing 19 social network variables and 3 outcome measures (need fulfillment, psychological symptoms, and physical symptoms), we follow 133 elderly residents of mid-Manhatten hotels for one year. The findings indicate that social networks exert a direct effect on reducing subsequent symptoms and enhancing ability to meet needs. Moreover, social networks trigger a buffering response to stressors in that their ability to reduce symptoms and to promote need fulfillment was greatest among high-stress individuals.
 
Article
The purpose of this research is to examine Americans' beliefs about older adults at work before and after the amendment of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) in 1978. Two models are considered for understanding the relationship between age strata and public support for older workers: the group benefit model and the civil liberty model. The analysis gives general support to the civil liberty model: (1) age differences are related to the beliefs so that more recent cohorts are more likely than earlier ones to favor the work privileges and opportunities for older people and (2) Americans in general grew more favorable toward and concerned about older workers during the period surrounding the passage of the ADEA Amendment in 1978. Women were more likely than were men to support the privileges of older people to work regardless of age or competition for jobs by younger people.
 
Article
High levels of treatment adherence are crucial for the success of expanding ART treatment programs everywhere. Augmenting adherence through treatment supporters is one promising strategy. Most discussions focus on peers, especially members of PHA groups, for this purpose. Far less attention is given to family members and especially older age parents. Yet ART recipients often live with or nearby parents and other family members who are highly motivated to ensure the treatment's success. This study examines the extent that family members, especially parents, assist adherence in Thailand. Results indicate that most adult ART patients live with family members and over half live with or in the same locality as a parent. Family members, including parents, commonly remind ART patients to take medications, especially if coresident. Moreover, parents often remind patients to get resupplies and sometimes accompany them to appointments. Clearly close family members, including parents, should be explicitly incorporated into adherence augmentation programs and provided adequate information to facilitate their role as long-term adherence partners, not only in Thailand but wherever ART recipients are closely linked to family members through living and caregiving arrangements.
 
Article
A cross-sectional sample of adults, ages 20-79, were administered an adjective rating scale instrument measuring multiple affective states, including items from the Profile of Mood States (POMS) instrument. Confirmatory item factor analysis supported, for the most part, a priori assignments of items to scales based upon prior research, but revealed a few small, additional item factors that were cross-validated in a second sample. Items measuring different aspects of psychological distress, including anxiety and depressive affect, showed appreciable skew and kurtosis, with a substantial proportion of respondents indicating no perceived distress. Items measuring psychological well-being tended to show more normal response distributions. Tests of age-related invariance in item factor structure indicated that the unstandardized factor pattern weights (loadings) were not fully equivalent across two age groups, but showed that the same configuration of items loading on factors was supported. The scales perform well enough to justify continued use in older populations, but further research on the contributions of item distributions to age differences in factor loadings is needed.
 
T2 scores on the latent indicators of psychological adjustment, controlled for T1 scores, predicted by perceived activation demands and formal productive roles at T1. y p < .10. * p < .05. ** p < .01. 
Article
We investigated how older adults' perceptions of societal expectations for active aging, or activation demands (e.g., to stay fit and to contribute to the public good), relate to their involvement in paid work and formal volunteering and psychological adjustment. We used two waves of survey data on young-old Germans (aged 56-75, N T1 = 1,508, N T2 = 602). With the exception of several items on perceived activation demands, paid work and volunteering were not significant longitudinal predictors of such demands. In females, perceived activation demands increased the likelihood to work for pay a year later. Finally, among nonworking individuals, perceived activation demands predicted a better physical self-concept and a higher positive affect, whereas among nonvolunteers, such demands predicted fewer depressive symptoms a year later. We conclude that the policy debate on active aging may benefit some older German adults but is of little consequence for most of them. © The Author(s) 2015.
 
Article
A battery of cognitive tests was administered by telephone to 194 pairs of MZ and DZ twins: 112 pairs reared apart and 82 pairs reared together. The six measures, chosen to identify known intelligence and short-term memory factors, included two marker variables for crystallized intelligence (information and synonyms), two markers for fluid intelligence (analogies and figure logic), and two markers for short-term memory (forward and backward digit span). The data provide support for the feasibility of substituting telephone testing of abilities for more traditional assessment procedures.
 
Article
Adult day-care clients are compared with nursing home applicants who were reviewed and recommended for community or institution-based care. Social, health, and service-use characteristics are contrasted in order to identify factors that distinguish adult day care from nursing home care as an appropriate placement. Socioeconomic status, severity of physical disability, living arrangement, sensory impairment, use of in-home services, and days in the hospital tend to distinguish the groups. The groups are quite similar in demographic characteristics, mental status, frequency of out-patient physician visits, and number and types of diseases. The authors outline criteria that might be used to determine appropriate placement. They also point out the need for future research in order to draw comparisons among different types of adult day-care programs and to develop predictive models for service use and continuity of participation in adult day care.
 
Article
Several demographic trends threaten supportive ties between adult children and elderly parents, including fertility reduction, rising divorce rates, and increasing geographical mobility among young adults. This article focuses on the extent to which proximity of adult children influences several types of social contact between elders and their offspring. Initial anlysis uncovered nonlinear patterns in the data. The results of the polynomial regression analyses indicate that physical distance is a potent determinant of several types of social contact. The importance of distance is not affected when statistically controlling for adult children's income, sex, and marital status and elderly respondents' age, sex, education, and ethnicity. The analysis also suggests that substitution occurs between contact types at certain points on the distance continuum.
 
Components of the Neighborhood Indices (Census Tract): Results From Princial Factor Analysis With an Orthogonal Varimax Rotation. Americans' Changing Lives Study 1986–2001. 
Descriptive Statistics for Study Sample Characteristics, N ¼ 3617 Americans' Changing Lives Study (1986). 
Neighborhood Characteristics and Health Transitions Over Adulthood: Multinomial Logistic Regression Models For Functional Decline z Americans' Changing Lives Study: 1986–2001. 
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Article
Over the last two decades, research has assessed the relationship between neighborhood socioeconomic factors and individual health. However, existing research is based almost exclusively on cross-sectional data, ignoring the complexity in health transitions that may be shaped by long term residential exposures. We address these limitations by specifying distinct health transitions over multiple waves of a 15 year study of American adults. We focus on transitions between a hierarchy of health states, (free from health problems, onset of health problems, and death), not just gradients in a single health indicator over time, and use a cumulative measure of exposure to neighborhoods over adulthood. We find that cumulative exposure to neighborhood disadvantage has significant effects on functional decline and mortality. Research ignoring a persons' history of exposure to residential contexts over the life course runs the risk of underestimating the role of neighborhood disadvantage on health.
 
Article
The authors examined whether the effect of parental death on adults siblings' relationship quality varies on the basis of the presence and perceived effectiveness of a deceased parent's formal preparations for end-of-life care. The authors used data from the Wisconsin Longitudinal Study and focused on the relationship quality of a bereaved adult child and his or her randomly selected sibling. Parental death was associated with a decrease in sibling closeness. The parent's use of advance directives (living will and durable power of attorney for health care) did not have uniformly positive effects on adult siblings' relationship quality. Sibling relationships suffered when the living will was believed to "cause problems," but relationships improved when the deceased parent named someone other than his or her spouse or a child as durable power of attorney for health care. The authors discuss the implications for developing effective end-of-life preparations that benefit both the decedent and surviving kin.
 
Article
We use National Survey of Families and Households first wave data and innovative modeling to examine how one parent-adult child pair may affect other pairs. Three conceptual models guide our analyses of parents' giving and receiving of socioemotional support, representing enhancement, compensation, and independence. Giving support to one child is related to more giving to others (enhancement), but receiving support from one child is related to less receipt from others (compensation). Cross-sibling interactions do not reveal significant effects of distance of one child on exchanges with others, nor of gender or stepchild status of adult children. Cross-sibling interactions differ by race, suggesting enhancement in receiving support among Blacks and enhancement in giving support among non-Blacks. These analyses demonstrate the value of examining how parent-adult child ties are influenced by each other and by their family context.
 
Article
Based on matched data from the 1982 National Long-Term Care Survey and the National Survey of Informal Caregivers, this article explores the degree to which separating adult children (N = 3,742) by the composition of their sibling network (i.e., only children, single-gender networks, and mixed-gender networks) provides insight into the association between gender and patterns of parent-care. Caregiving participation was calculated as a proportion of the availability of all children of a specific gender. The data reveal that, within all sibling network categories, daughters were more likely than sons to be providing care to an impaired parent; however, the repercussions of being a caregiver were not similarly uniform. Specifically, sons and daughters from only-child and single-gender networks reported a similar number of hours per day spent in parent-care and experienced comparable levels of stress and burden. In contrast, daughters from mixed-gender networks reported significantly higher levels of stress and burden and more hours per day spent caregiving than sons. These findings demonstrate that differentiating children by sibling network type does offer some clarity to our understanding of the complex association between gender and patterns of parent-care.
 
Article
Before attempting to understand how a relatively new treatment modality such as adult day care (ADC) works, it is useful to understand what it is. To this end, this article describes the structural characteristics of ADC centers and the characteristics of ADC users in the United States and across the four U.S. census regions. A 1986 national census survey of 1,347 ADC centers yielded 974 usable responses (72.3%). Findings indicated that there is great variability in characteristics of ADC across the country. In general, ADC's are well-staffed, well-linked to other agencies, and well-equipped. However, demand and enrollment appeared low. A need for improved oversight and staff in-service training was indicated for a substantial proportion of centers. These and other findings provide the most detailed and comprehensive national and regional descriptions of ADC available to date.
 
Article
Efforts to assess the effects of a variety of stressors to which older adults are exposed will be no more successful than measuring instruments are valid and appropriately sensitive to change. Research springing from the trait-state distinction has led to some important clarifications regarding properties of measuring instruments, ways of conceptualizing among-persons variation, and the multidimensionality of individuals' response patterns. To examine the suitability of several extant state measures for use with the elderly, 111 older (age 60+) adults were measured, then remeasured two weeks later, with a battery covering five state dimensions. Data are analyzed to test their hypothesized factor structure of the measures and, from a construct validity perspective, to evaluate the short-term stability (test-retest coefficients) of both scales and underlying factors. Results support the factorial validity of instruments developed for the measurement of anxiety and fatigue states when used in older adult populations.
 
Article
Secular trends in morbidity, mortality, and risk factor prevalence highlight the importance of adopting a life-span approach to the study of health-related behaviors. To help address this question, the predictors of nine personal health practices were examined within four adult age cohorts (ages 20-64), using data from Wave 1 of the National Survey of Personal Health Practices and Consequences (N= 3,025). Analyses showed that education and gender were the most consistently important predictors of the nine practices within each cohort. Across all four cohorts, however, no predictor was statistically significant for a majority of the practices. Functional health status, income, subjective health, perceived locus of control, a regular source of health care, and group participations were of relative importance in specific cohorts. Tracking of health practices and their predictors should continue as current cohorts progress through adulthood and into older age. However, it is still an open question whether predictors of health behavior are robust longitudinally in cohorts moving through adulthood.
 
Descriptive Statistics: Demographics of Sample and Overall Means for Scenarios Variable n % M SD Demographic Information 
Article
The authors examined same- and cross-gender friendship norms in a sample of 135 adults (average age 73 years). Participants evaluated a friend's behavior, quantitatively and qualitatively, in vignettes in which the friend's gender was experimentally manipulated. Gender often significantly, though modestly, influenced normative evaluations. Women frequently had higher expectations of friends than men and placed a greater emphasis on intimacy. Women were more disapproving of violations of friendship rules, such as betraying a confidence, paying a surprise visit, and failing to stand up for a friend in public. However, both men and women were less approving of a man than a woman who greets another friend with a kiss or who requests to stay overnight. Respondents' open-ended comments reflected positive attitudes regarding cross-gender friendships. Most findings demonstrated that men and women across a wide age range held similar cultural norms for close ties, norms of trust, commitment, and respect.
 
Structural Equation Model of Couples' End-of-Life Preferences, Married Participants in the Wisconsin Longitudinal Study Module on End-of-Life Treatment Preferences, 2004 
Article
When terminally ill patients become mentally incapacitated, the patient's surrogate often makes treatment decisions in collaboration with health care providers. We examine how surrogates' errors in reporting their spouse's preferences are affected by their gender, status as durable power of attorney for health care (DPAHC), whether the surrogate and spouse held discussions about end-of-life preferences, and the spouse's health status. We apply structural equation models to data from 2,750 married couples in their mid 60s who participated in the 2004 wave of the Wisconsin Longitudinal Study. Surrogates reported their spouse's preferences incorrectly 13 and 26 percent of the time in end-of-life scenarios involving cognitive impairment and physical pain, respectively. Surrogates projected their own preferences onto the spouse. Similar patterns emerged regardless of surrogate gender, surrogate status as DPAHC, marital discussions about end-of-life, or spousal health status. We discuss implications for the process of surrogate decision-making and for future research.
 
Article
This study focuses on the identification of multiple latent trajectories of pain intensity, and it examines how religiousness is related to different classes of pain trajectory. Participants were 720 community-dwelling older adults who were interviewed at four time points over a 3-year period. Overall, intensity of pain decreased over 3 years. Analysis using latent growth mixture modeling (GMM) identified three classes of pain: (1) increasing (n = 47); (2) consistently unchanging (n = 292); and (3) decreasing (n = 381). Higher levels of intrinsic religiousness (IR) at baseline were associated with higher levels of pain at baseline, although it attenuated the slope of pain trajectories in the increasing pain group. Higher service attendance at baseline was associated with a higher probability of being in the decreasing pain group. The increasing pain group and the consistently unchanging group reported more negative physical and mental health outcomes than the decreasing pain group.
 
Article
This research examines the association of religious participation with mortality using a longitudinal data set collected from 9,017 oldest-old aged 85+ and 6,956 younger elders aged 65 to 84 in China in 2002 and 2005 and hazard models. Results show that adjusted for demographics, family/social support, and health practices, risk of dying was 24% (p < 0.001) and 12% (p < 0.01) lower among frequent and infrequent religious participants than among nonparticipants for all elders aged 65+. After baseline health was adjusted, the corresponding risk of dying declined to 21% (p < 0.001) and 6% (not significant), respectively. The authors also conducted hazard models analysis for men versus women and for young-old versus oldest-old, respectively, adjusted for single-year age; the authors found that gender differentials of association of religious participation with mortality among all elderly aged 65+ were not significant; association among young-old men was significantly stronger than among oldest-old men, but no such significant young-old versus oldest-old differentials in women were found.
 
Article
Breadth of categorization and metaphoric processing were studied in 30 young and 30 older adults to determine if older adults manifest a more integrative processing style. A categorization task containing 24 stories of everyday situations was developed from responses of subjects to a questionnaire assessing relevant themes. The task was administered along with a metaphor interpretation task. As predicted, older adults generated fewer categories than young adults, but age differences in breadth of categorization emerged only in the most highly educated group, interacting with sex. Highly educated older women showed greater breadth of categorization than their young counterparts as hypothesized, but highly educated older men showed less breadth of categorization than young men. Metaphoric processing, on the other hand, showed neither age nor gender related differences. Possible interpretations for the findings are considered.
 
Grant receipt in households with orphans 
Financial transfers to and from the OA's children 
Expenditure Patterns in Households with Orphans Under Age 18 
Older adult outcomes and the presence of orphans 
Article
This study uses panel data from Cape Town to document the role played by aging parents in caring for grandchildren who lose parents due to illnesses such as AIDS. We quantify the probabilities that older adults and their adult children provide financial support to orphaned grandchildren. We find significant transfers of public and private funds to older adults caring for orphans. Perhaps because of these transfers we find no differences in expenditure patterns between households with orphans and other older adult households. We also find no impact of either the death of a child or taking in orphaned grandchildren on adult well-being as measured by ability to work, depression, or self reported health. Our findings suggest that the combined public and private safety net in South Africa mitigates many of the consequences older adults could suffer when an adult child dies and leaves behind grandchildren needing care.
 
Article
The first goal of this study is to see if social relationships in the church influence feelings of gratitude toward God. The second goal is to assess the impact of race and ethnicity on this relationship. The data support the following hypotheses: (1) older people who go to church more often tend to receive more spiritual support from fellow church members; (2) older adults who receive more spiritual support at church will derive a deeper understanding of themselves and others; (3) older people who develop greater insight into themselves and others will derive a greater sense of religious meaning in life; and (4) older adults who develop a deeper sense of religious meaning in life will feel more grateful to God. The results also indicate that the study model explains how feelings of gratitude toward God arise among older blacks and whites, but not older Mexican Americans.
 
Article
This study utilizes data from the older African American sub-sample of the National Survey of American Life (n=837) to examine the sociodemographic and denominational correlates of organizational religious involvement among older African Americans. Six measures of organizational religious participation are utilized, including two measures of time allocation for organized religious pursuits. The findings indicate significant gender, region, marital status and denominational differences in organizational religiosity. Of particular note, although older black women generally displayed higher levels of religious participation, older black men spent more hours per week in other activities at their place of worship. The findings are discussed in relation to prior work in the area of religious involvement among older adults. New directions for research on religious time allocation are outlined.
 
Article
Immigrant groups frequently experience a widening intergenerational gap as the younger generation improves in social status. That such ascendancy is accompanied by intergenerational conflict and strain is clearly borne out by the experience of many Japanese Americans. Using data gathered from over 100 pairs of mother and daughter respondents, this study explores the impact of social mobility of the younger generation of Japanese Americans upon relations with their first-generation parents. Also explored is the subsequent psychological well-being of the older Japanese immigrant, including a look at the structure of their social network.
 
Article
This research examines the effects of social integration along with health, age, marital status, and SES on mental health among 1727 urban elderly. Utilizing a path model these variables accounted for 38% of the variance in mental health. In addition to physical health, which had a strong independent effect, both the availability of social resources and their perceived adequacy made significant independent contributions. Social interaction, however, was found to make an insignificant contribution to the explanation of mental health.
 
Article
In the current literature on parent care, the assertion is made that modern women at some time in their lives may expect to be sandwiched between responsibilities to old parents and their other commitments. This article presents the distribution for a random sample of 163 women aged 40 to 69 with respect to combinations of variables or commitment configurations that have been identified in the literature as contributing to women's being "caught in the middle." In addition, the lifetime caregiving experiences and the likelihood that those who have not yet been caregivers will be "caught" are examined for a subsample of the women. The argument is made that adult children rather than caregivers to frail parents are the appropriate population on which to focus if the incidence and prevalence of the involvement of adult children in parent care are to be ascertained.
 
Article
This research concerned the multidimensionality of psychological well-being and some related domains of perceived quality of life. A pool of items used by others to measure a variety of such constructs was administered to four groups of older people ordered in presumptive overall well-being: retirement community, residents of an ordinary neighborhood, congregate housing, and clinically depressed people. Factors were derived by component analysis and adjusted on theoretical grounds. The resulting indices were subjected to a variety of psychometric analyses. The dimensionality of subjective well-being as revealed in these results is discussed in relation to several theoretical notions regarding mental health and aging.
 
Article
This article examines whether the instrumental and affectual support provided the elderly differs among informal social support groups. Cantor's hierarchical-compensatory model postulates an order of preference in the choice of support group regardless of the type of aid sought. Litwak's task-specific model predicts that older people turn to different support groups depending on the type of assistance needed. Our test of these two models indicates that certain network members are more likely to be selected regardless of whether the assistance needed is instrumental or affective. The elderly turn primarily to the spouse followed by adult children, friends, siblings, and "other relatives" in that order. When lacking one of these categories of intimates, no compensatory principle operates.
 
Article
To facilitate efficient and effective modifications in the delivery of care to the elderly, an empirically based agenda was developed within the Veterans Administration to guide health services research. The agenda includes studying methods to augment providers' geriatric expertise, facilitate maximal independence for older persons, and identify effective strategies, target groups, and appropriate outcomes for long-term care.
 
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Sample Characteristics (N = = 522) 
Estimated Coefficients From Baseline Models of LF Exit (N = = 522) 
Odds Ratios for Labor Force Exit Versus Remaining in the Labor Force 
Article
In this paper, we investigate ways in which the relationship between health and labor force exit at older ages is moderated by family characteristics. Using two waves of data from a national sample of older Japanese men collected 1999 and 2002, we estimate logistic regression models for labor force exit beyond age 63 as a function of health change, family characteristics, and their interactions. We confirm that poor health is strongly associated with labor force exit and find evidence that moderating influences of family context depend upon the level of health. However, results are only partially consistent with hypotheses that the relationship between health and the likelihood of labor force exit should be stronger for (a) those with good health and family incentives to exit the labor force and (b) those with poor health and family incentives to remain in the labor force.
 
Article
Labor-market transitions toward the latter parts of workers' careers can be complex, with movement between jobs and classes of work and in and out of retirement. The authors analyzed factors associated with the labor-market transitions of older workers to self-employment from unemployment or disability, retirement, or wage and salary work using rich panel data from seven waves of the Health and Retirement Study (HRS). They found evidence that (prior) job characteristics and liquidity constraints are important predictors of movements to self-employment for workers and nonworkers, while risk aversion is a significant predictor only for workers.
 
Article
Over the last decade, research on the elderly family has been glowing, portraying strong marital and family relationships. But the currently elderly, while they hve benefited from the demographic and economic transformations of modernity, did not participate in the family revolutions that have followed. Cohorts who will become the elderly of the 21st century have been on the leading edge of the family revolution, the rapid growth of labor force participation among women, the tremendous rise in divorce and in childrearing out of marriage, and the overall decline in marriage and remarriage. Increasingly, the elderly will not be married or not in their first marriage. Research has focused on women and children as the sufferers from divorce, but in old age, as family relationships based on marriage and parenthood grow in importance, it is males who are at risk. This article presents a series of research findings that specify these risks.
 
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By attempting to answer the question, "when does aging begin?" we can develop new theoretical and methodological approaches to understanding the lifespan development. General criteria for such an approach are outlined and a specific theory offered for consideration. The habituation process has been studied effectively in infancy and early childhood. The subsequent course of habituation from later childhood through old age is suggested. A number of potentials and problems inherent in this theoretical approach are briefly discussed, as well as its possible relationship to psychodynamic defensive strategies intended to reduce anxiety.
 
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The purpose of these studies is to learn more about how aging and illness are perceived by assessing cognitive and emotional representations of illness, coping behaviors and perceived efficacy of coping behavior. Age-related differences were found in emotional representations of illnesses, and in expectations of coping ability. Older participants also tended to dichotomize rather than dimensionalize their responses. An open-ended interview on self-aging indicated universal and individual symptoms of aging.
 
Top-cited authors
Louise Hawkley
  • NORC at the University of Chicago
Linda J Waite
  • University of Chicago
John T Cacioppo
  • University of Chicago
Neal Krause
  • University of Michigan
Ellen L Idler
  • Emory University