Healthy Aging Among Older Black and White Men: What Is the Role of Mastery?

TitleHealthy Aging Among Older Black and White Men: What Is the Role of Mastery?
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2018
AuthorsLatham-Mintus, K, Vowels, A, Huskins, K
JournalThe Journals of Gerontology Series B: Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences
ISSN Number1758-5368
KeywordsHealth Conditions and Status, Men's health, Racial/ethnic differences

Objectives: This research explores black-white differences in healthy aging and investigates whether mastery acts as a buffer against poor health for older black and white men.

Methods: Using data from the Health and Retirement Study (HRS) (2008-2012), a series of binary logit models were created to assess healthy aging over a 2-year period. Healthy aging was defined as good subjective health and free of disability at both waves. Mastery was lagged, and analyses (n = 4,892) controlled for social and health factors.

Results: Black-white disparities in healthy aging were observed, where older black men had lower odds of healthy aging. Mastery was associated with higher odds of healthy aging, and race moderated the relationship between mastery and healthy aging. The predicted probability of healthy aging was relatively flat across all levels of mastery among black men, yet white men saw consistent gains in the probability of healthy aging with higher levels of mastery. In race-stratified models, mastery was not a significant predictor of healthy aging among black men.

Discussion: High levels of mastery are linked to positive health-often acting as a buffer against stressful life events. However, among older black men, higher levels of mastery did not necessarily equate to healthy aging.

User Guide Notes

Alternate JournalJ Gerontol B Psychol Sci Soc Sci
Citation Key9354
PubMed ID28977575