Material Hardship and Self-Rated Mental Health among Older Black Americans in the National Survey of American Life

Gillian L. Marshall, Roland J. Thorpe, Sarah L. Szanton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This article examines the association between material hardships and self-rated mental health (SRMH) among older black Americans and determines whether the effect varies by race and ethnicity. Using data from the National Survey of American Life, multiple logistic regression models were specified on a sample of older white Americans (n = 289), African Americans (n = 1,135), and black Caribbean Americans (n = 377). Material hardship was measured as an index of seven items that occurred within the past year. Material hardship (odds ratio = 0.48; 95 percent confidence interval = 0.29-0.79) was associated with SRMH for both groups. None of the interactions were significant. The study concludes that material hardship may contribute to poorer SRMH among older African Americans and black Caribbean Americans. Future studies should examine these associations by using longitudinal designs, which may be better designed to confirm these results.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)87-94
Number of pages8
JournalHealth and Social Work
Volume42
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - May 1 2017

Keywords

  • African Americans
  • black Caribbean Americans
  • material hardship
  • mental health

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)

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