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Psychology of older adults: Exploring the effects of class and culture on the mental health of African Americans

TitlePsychology of older adults: Exploring the effects of class and culture on the mental health of African Americans
Publication TypeBook Chapter
Year of Publication2012
AuthorsMills, TL, Cody-Rydzewski, S
Book TitleHandbook of race and development in mental health
PublisherSpringer Science + Business Media; US
CityNew York, NY
ISBN Number978-1-4614-0423-1 (Hardcover), 978-1-4614-0424-8 (PDF)
Accession NumberBook: 2011-26248-005
Keywords*Aging, *Blacks, *Mental Health, *Race and Ethnic Discrimination, *Social Equality, class, culture, mental health, older African Americans, social inequality, racial discrimination, social support, religion, resilience, depression, extended family ties, resilience, Culture & Ethnology [2930], Culture (Anthropological), Extended Family, Gerontology [2860], Human Male Female Adulthood (18 yrs & older) Middle Age (40-64 yrs) Aged (65 yrs & older) Very Old (85 yrs & older), Major Depression, Religiosity, Resilience (Psychological), Social Class, Social Support, us
Abstract(from the chapter) This chapter presents information on mental health issues among older African Americans, focusing on social inequality and racial discrimination as major challenges to the maintenance of mental health in this group; and extended family ties, social support, and religiosity as strengths contributing to resilience. In our discussion, we provide an overview of demographic changes is the age, race, and ethnic composition of the American population, followed by a brief review of physical and psychological health disparities between African Americans and Whites. We then explore strengths and challenges facing African Americans as they confront the possibility of mental health problems in old age as well as the results of a study of self-rated health and perceptions of depression among community-dwelling older African Americans. Finally, we discuss directions for future research and implications for mental health practitioners. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2013 APA, all rights reserved).
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