Stressor appraisals among adults in late middle age and late adulthood in the United States: Applying the intersectionality framework.

TitleStressor appraisals among adults in late middle age and late adulthood in the United States: Applying the intersectionality framework.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2023
AuthorsWang, K, Marbut, AR, Zheng, D, J. Peet, Z
JournalInternational Journal of Stress Management
Volume30
Issue1
Pagination47–56
KeywordsDisability, gender, Immigration, intersectionality framework, Race/ethnicity, stressor appraisals
Abstract

Although the intersectionality framework suggests that social identities may combine to create unique experiences of hardship, few studies have applied it to older adults’ stress appraisals. Thus, in this study, guided by the intersectionality framework, we examined whether older participants with multiple marginalized identities had more negative global stressor appraisals and whether they had specific patterns concerning individual stressor appraisals than those with singular or no marginalized identities. A sample of 6,015 participants aged 50 and older was drawn from the 2016 Health and Retirement Study. Six social identities relevant to age, gender, race/ethnicity, immigration, (dis)ability, and poverty were included. Latent class analysis was conducted to identify marginalized identity patterns. The three-step approach was applied to compare global stressor appraisals and individual stressor appraisals between the intersectional class and other classes. Three marginalized identity classes were identified: the intersectional class consisting of females and individuals living in poverty, the Black, Indigenous, and Other People of Color class, and the older adult class. Compared to the other two classes, the intersectional class reported more negative global stressor appraisals and was more likely to feel upset or very upset about self-health, family health, family substance use, work, financial, housing, and relationship stressors. Caregiving stressor appraisal was not statistically significantly different between the intersectional class and the other two classes. Overall, the findings in this study supported the intersectionality framework as it applies to stress appraisal among older adults. An intersectionality perspective may be needed in future stress research and interventions among older adults.

DOI10.1037/str0000283
Citation Key13006