The Health, Physical Functioning, and Informal Supports of the Black Elderly

Among the elderly population, blacks are increasing more rapidly-and perhaps differently-than whites. Cross-sectional data from two unique surveys describe their heterogeneity in health, physical functioning, and social networks at “younger,” middle, and “older” ages. The relation between age and these factors may be nonlinear; indeed, evidence supports the contention of a racial “crossover” at advanced ages. Life experiences-ecological, social, economic, and familial-of successive cohorts are likely to pose different problems for elderly blacks in the future. Further research into these differences should inform public policy.

Author(s): Rose C. Gibson; James S. Jackson

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Volume 65, Issue S2 (pages 421–454)
Published in 1987