Adrienne T Aiken-Morgan

Duke University, Durham, North Carolina, United States

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Publications (13)23.75 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Objective: Poorer health profiles among African American men throughout the life course evince greater rates of cardiovascular disease (CVD) and significantly earlier mortality compared with other groups. Despite growing emphasis on identifying how psychosocial factors influence disparate disease risk, little of this research has focused intently on African American men. Methodology: Using hierarchical linear regression, we explored the additive influence of stress, depression, and perceived control on pulse pressure, an established marker of CVD risk, in a sample (N = 153) of African American men (mean age = 66.73 ± 9.29) from the Baltimore Study of Black Aging (BSBA). Results: After accounting for age and health status indicators, perceived control emerged as a significant predictor of pulse pressure. Discussion: These findings suggest that greater belief in one's own efficacy is a protective factor for cardiovascular health among African American men. Future research should examine whether enhancing perceived control can have an appreciable impact on the immense CVD burden in this and other at-risk populations.
    No preview · Article · Aug 2015 · Ethnicity & disease
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    ABSTRACT: To identify intervention components that may promote longterm changes of physical activity among older adults in a behavioral theory-based physical activity trial. Participants (N = 24; aged 65±8.79 years) shared perceptions of intervention components at the end of the intervention and physical activity was assessed at 18 months. Mixed-methods analyses using a pragmatic content analysis of interview data were conducted. Active study participants (25%) cited more specific goals/actions to achieve goals and more social support from family/friends, and had significantly higher self-determined motivation mean scores at 18 months than insufficiently active study participants (75%). Specific goal-setting behaviors and social support from family/friends may be key elements of physical activity maintenance in older adults.
    No preview · Article · Jul 2015 · American journal of health behavior
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    ABSTRACT: The goal of our study was to examine how Big Five personality factors predict variability in self-rated health in a sample of older African Americans from the Baltimore Study of Black Aging. Personality was measured by the NEO Personality Inventory-Revised, and self-rated health was assessed by the Health Problems Checklist. The study sample had 202 women and 87 men. Ages ranged from 49 to 90 years (M = 67.2 years, SD = 8.55), and average years of formal education was 10.8 (SD = 3.3). Multiple linear regressions showed that neuroticism and extraversion were significant regression predictors of self-rated health, after controlling for demographic factors. These findings suggest individual personality traits may influence health ratings, behaviors, and decision-making among older African Americans.
    Full-text · Article · Dec 2014 · Ethnicity & disease
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    ABSTRACT: Little is known about the relationship between family longevity, stress, and CVD in African Americans. Data consisted of 3274 participants aged ≥ 50 years with information on parental living status, the three indicators of stress, and cardiovascular health from the Jackson Heart Study (JHS). Those with both parents dead had significantly fewer life events than those with mother alive but father dead and those with both parents alive. Controlling for age, sex, and education, there were significant main effects for the number of life events, as well as the three parental living status variables in comparison to the both dead category. There is evidence for mediation with life events and weekly stress events, but not with global stress. The results show that there is a pattern on longevity in African American families that intersects with their stress experiences. Further examination of how generational patterns of stress are passed down is warranted.
    No preview · Article · Nov 2014 · Ethnicity & disease
  • Adrienne T Aiken-Morgan · Alyssa A Gamaldo · Regina C Sims · Jason C Allaire · Keith E Whitfield
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    ABSTRACT: Objectives: The present study examined the relationship between desegregated schooling and cognitive change in a sample of 420 community-dwelling African American elders (mean age = 68.6; SD = 9.1). Method: Participants were recruited for the Baltimore Study of Black Aging - Patterns of Cognitive Aging. Cognitive measures from six domains of function were administered at baseline and follow-up 33 months later. Repeated measures multivariate analysis of covariance was conducted; the between subjects factors were schooling type and age cohort, and the within subjects factor was time. Analyses controlled for age, years of education, and sex, and follow-up univariate analyses were used to determine which individual cognitive scores drove the multivariate effects. Results: There were significant multivariate within-group, between-group, and interaction effects (p < .05). Univariate analyses indicated that the desegregated schooling group scored significantly better on Language and Perceptual Speed (p < .01), and the youngest age cohort (50- to 59-year-olds) performed better on measures of Perceptual Speed. There were no significant univariate interactions between schooling group or age cohort and cognitive change over time. Discussion: Overall, these findings suggest a slight advantage of desegregated schooling for cognitive performance, but no advantage of desegregated schooling on the rate of cognitive change over time in this sample.
    No preview · Article · Oct 2014 · The Journals of Gerontology Series B Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences
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    ABSTRACT: Objective: Despite high rates of poor health outcomes, little attention has been focused on associations between prominent health factors and cognitive function in African American men, exclusively. The objective was to examine relationships between cardiovascular and pulmonary health, and cognitive function in African American men. Method: Data from 257 men were pooled from two studies of African American aging. The mean age of participants was 58.15 and mean educational attainment was 11.78 years. Participants provided self-reported health and demographic information, completed cognitive measures, and had their blood pressure and peak expiratory flow assessed. Results: After adjustment, significant relationships were found between average peak expiratory flow rate (APEFR) and cognitive performance measures. Discussion: Results suggest that lung function is important to consider when examining cognitive function in African American men. Understanding the role of health in cognition and implications for quality of life in this population will be critical as life expectancies increase.
    No preview · Article · Jul 2014 · Journal of Aging and Health
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    ABSTRACT: Objective: To examine the relationship between measures of sleep quality and the presence of commonly encountered comorbid and sociodemographic conditions in elderly Black subjects. Method: Analyses included participants from the Baltimore Study of Black Aging (BSBA; n = 450; mean age 71.43 years; SD 9.21). Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI) measured overall sleep pattern and quality. Self-reported and objective measures of physical and mental health data and demographic information were collected for all participants. Results: Sociodemographic and comorbid health factors were significantly associated with sleep quality. Results from regression analyses revealed that older age, current financial strain, interpersonal problems, and stress were unique predictors of worse sleep quality. Sleep duration was significantly correlated with age, depressive affect, interpersonal problems, and stress; only age was a unique significant predictor. While participants 62 years or younger had worse sleep quality with increasing levels of stress, there was no significant relationship between sleep quality and stress for participants 81 years and older. Conclusions: Several potential mechanisms may explain poor sleep in urban, community dwelling Blacks. Perceived stressors, including current financial hardship or hardship experienced for an extended time period throughout the lifespan, may influence sleep later in life.
    No preview · Article · Jul 2014 · Journal of clinical sleep medicine: JCSM: official publication of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine
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    ABSTRACT: Imagery interventions intended to increase exercise behavior are rare. The Active Adult Mentoring Program (AAMP) was a randomized controlled trial with imagery content. The purposes of this study were to examine the content and perceived utility of mental imagery with 24 AAMP participants (Mage = 65.00, SD = 8.79 years). Digital recordings of AAMP sessions and post-intervention interviews were content-analyzed. Emergent themes included images of the physical activity context and negative impressions about imagery. Post-intervention interviews revealed that 13 participants reported positive experiences using mental imagery while 9 would not engage in further use. Important implications are discussed.
    Full-text · Article · Mar 2014 · Journal of Applied Sport Psychology
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    ABSTRACT: The historical underpinnings in the field of gerontology rest on the contributions of scholars across a myriad of racial and ethnic backgrounds. With the increasing diversity of the adult population, there is a need to increase the number of researchers who study older adults from diverse racial and ethnic populations in general and Black elderly people in particular. Furthermore, it is important to document the participation of Black older adults in our earliest and continuing research efforts. Understanding the historical context and the foundational influence of Black scholars in this field is critical. To realize its humble beginnings, one must become aware of the contributions by Black scholars who have a vested interest in the aging process. With universal similarities and unique differences among older adults, there is a need to acknowledge the past and current scholarship of those who study the aging processes of Blacks while marveling over the future possibilities. The purpose of this review is to elucidate the legacy and current contributions, philosophies, and research of Black scholars in the field of gerontology. In addition, exploration of the theoretical and conceptual frameworks used to establish national and organizational initiatives is reviewed. The impetus in initiating and continuing this work requires a "knowledge of our roots" while moving into the future. It is important to learn the history and significance of Black scholars in gerontology, the contributions of older Blacks, and appreciate the resiliency and marveled life course of this unique population.
    Preview · Article · Sep 2013 · The Gerontologist
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    ABSTRACT: Exercise behaviour and sleep are both important health indicators that demonstrate significant decreases with age, and remain modifiable well into later life. The current investigation examined both the chronic and acute relationships between exercise behaviour and self-reported sleep in older adults through a secondary analysis of a clinical trial of a lifestyle intervention. Seventy-nine community-dwelling, initially sedentary, older adults (mean age = 63.58 years, SD = 8.66 years) completed daily home-based assessments of exercise behaviour and sleep using daily diary methodology. Assessments were collected weekly and continued for 18 consecutive weeks. Multilevel models revealed a small positive chronic (between-person mean-level) association between exercise and wake time after sleep onset, and a small positive acute (within-person, day-to-day) association between exercise and general sleep quality rating. The within-person exercise and general sleep quality rating relationship was found to be reciprocal (i.e. sleep quality also predicted subsequent exercise behaviour). As such, it appears exercise and sleep are dynamically related in older adults. Efforts to intervene on either sleep or exercise in late-life would be wise to take the other into account. Light exposure, temperature regulation and mood may be potential mechanisms of action through which exercise can impact sleep in older adults.
    No preview · Article · Aug 2013 · Journal of Sleep Research
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    ABSTRACT: Previous research suggests that demographic factors are important correlates of cognitive functioning in African Americans; however, less attention has been given to the influence of personality. The present study explored how dimensions and facets of personality predicted individual variability in cognition in a sample of older African Americans from the Baltimore Study of Black Aging. Cognition was assessed by verbal learning and attention/working memory measures. Personality was measured by the NEO Personality Inventory. Linear regressions controlling for demographic factors showed that Neuroticism, Openness, and Agreeableness were significant regression predictors of cognitive performance. Individual facets of all five personality dimensions were also associated with cognitive performance. These findings suggest personality is important in understanding variability in cognition among older African Americans.
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2012 · Journal of Research in Personality

  • No preview · Article · Feb 2008 · Ethnicity & disease
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    ABSTRACT: The rates of high blood pressure among African Americans, as a group, are the highest in the world. The implications for higher average blood pressure include complications for many major chronic conditions, such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes. Less well studied is the effect of blood pressure on the cognitive functioning of African Americans. The purpose of this study was to examine the effect of blood pressure on memory measures in a sample of adult African Americans. Analyses were conducted on a sample of 361 African American adults (mean age 61.50 years, standard deviation 9.39 years). We found significant correlations between systolic blood pressure and most cognitive measures but only for one of the measures and diastolic blood pressure. Regressions revealed significant effects for systolic blood pressure on Digit Symbol, Telephone Interview of Cognitive Status, and Immediate Recall on the Wechsler Logical Memory test. These findings suggest that blood pressure is a source of individual variability in cognitive aging among African Americans.
    Full-text · Article · Feb 2008 · Ethnicity & disease