At Risk on the Cusp of Old Age: Living arrangements and functional status among Black, White and Hispanic adults

TitleAt Risk on the Cusp of Old Age: Living arrangements and functional status among Black, White and Hispanic adults
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication1999
AuthorsWaite, LJ, Hughes, MElizabeth
JournalThe Journals of Gerontology: Social Sciences
Volume54B
Issue3
PaginationS136-44
Call Numberpubs_1999_Waite_LJGSeriesB.pdf
KeywordsAdult children, Demographics, Health Conditions and Status, Housing, Methodology, Retirement Planning and Satisfaction, Risk Taking
Abstract

OBJECTIVES: We examine the relationship between living arrangements and multiple measures of physical, cognitive, and emotional functioning in late midlife. METHODS: Using cross-sectional data from the Health and Retirement Study, we first assess the bivariate relationship between living arrangements and functioning; we then take into account demographic characteristics and measures of household resources and demands. RESULTS: We find evidence of differential functioning among individuals in various living arrangements. Married couples living alone or with children show the highest levels of functioning, whereas single adults living in complex households show the lowest levels. Functional deficits for those in complex households are reduced but not eliminated when we take demographic characteristics and household resources and demands into account. We find few differences by gender and race/ethnicity in the relationship between living arrangements and functioning. DISCUSSION: We show a pattern of poorer functioning among those in arguably the most demanding and least supportive household environments. This points to a vulnerable and risk-filled transition from middle to old age for these persons. Because Blacks and Hispanics show lower levels of functioning than Whites and are more likely to live in complex households, they may be particularly disadvantaged.

URLhttp://psychsoc.gerontologyjournals.org/
Endnote Keywords

Aging/Ethnicity/Gender/Cultural Characteristics/Family Relations/Housing/Middle Age/Quality of Life/Retirement/Risk Factors/Support, Non U.S. Government/Support, U.S. Government--PHS

Endnote ID

4200

Citation Key6641