The structure of health status among Hispanic, African American, and white older adults

Timothy E. Stump, Daniel O. Clark, Robert J. Johnson, Fredric D. Wolinsky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

81 Scopus citations


Activities of daily living (ADLs), instrumental ADLs, and disability markers have traditionally been the most common indicators of functional status. The study on Asset and Health Dynamics Among the Oldest Old (AHEAD) is used to replicate a five-dimensional measurement model composed of these observable indicators among the older adult self-respondents. The items available to measure upper body disability were found wanting, but the lower body disability, and the basic, household, and advanced ADL constructs were confirmed. Analyses of the measurement model separately among subgroups of women, men, Hispanics, Mexican Americans, African Americans, and Whites found no meaningful differences. Two structural models linking the lower body disability, and the basic, household, and advanced ADL constructs to perceived health and depression were also replicated among the older adult self-respondents, as well as separately among African Americans and among Whites. These models reaffirmed the dominant role of lower body disability on the everyday activities of older adults, and on their perceived health and depression.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)49-60
Number of pages12
JournalJournals of Gerontology - Series B Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences
Issue numberSPEC. ISS.
StatePublished - May 1997
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies

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