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Older adults' concerns about cognitive health: Commonalities and differences among six United States ethnic groups

TitleOlder adults' concerns about cognitive health: Commonalities and differences among six United States ethnic groups
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2011
AuthorsLaditka, JN, Laditka, SB, Liu, R, Price, AE, Wu, B, Friedman, DB, Corwin, SJ, Sharkey, JR, Tseng, W, Hunter, R, Logsdon, RG
JournalAgeing & SocietyAgeing & Society
Volume31
Pagination1202-1228
Date PublishedOct
ISBN Number0144-686X<br/>1469-1779
Accession NumberPeer Reviewed Journal: 2011-22630-008
Keywords*Adult Attitudes, *Aging, *Cognitive Impairment, *Health Attitudes, *Racial and Ethnic Differences, American Indians, Blacks, Chinese Cultural Groups, Ethnic Values, Gerontology, Gerontology [2860], Human Male Female Adulthood (18 yrs & older) Middle Age (40-64 yrs) Aged (65 yrs & older) Very Old (85 yrs & older), Latinos/Latinas, Memory Decay, older adults, cognitive health concerns, ethnic groups, health behavior, memory loss, African Americans, American Indians, Chinese Americans, Latinos, Whites, Vietnamese Americans, us, Vietnamese Cultural Groups, Whites
AbstractWe studied concerns about cognitive health among ethnically diverse groups of older adults. The study was grounded in theories of health behaviour and the representation of health and illness. We conducted 42 focus groups (N = 396, ages 50+) in four languages, with African Americans, American Indians, Chinese Americans, Latinos, Whites other than Latinos (hereafter. Whites) and Vietnamese Americans, in nine United States locations. Participants discussed concerns about keeping their memory or ability to think as they age. Audio recordings were transcribed verbatim. Constant comparison methods identified themes. In findings, all ethnic groups expressed concern and fear about memory loss, losing independence, and becoming 'a burden'. Knowing someone with Alzheimer's disease increased concern. American Indians, Chinese Americans, Latinos and Vietnamese Americans expected memory loss. American Indians, Chinese Americans and Vietnamese Americans were concerned about stigma associated with Alzheimer's disease. Only African Americans, Chinese and Whites expressed concern about genetic risks. Only African Americans and Whites expressed concern about behaviour changes. Although we asked participants for their thoughts about their ability to think as they age, they focused almost exclusively on memory. This suggests that health education promoting cognitive health should focus on memory, but should also educate the public about the importance of maintaining all aspects of cognitive health. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved) (journal abstract).
Ethno Med: