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

TitleMaterial Hardship and Self-Rated Mental Health among Older Black Americans in the National Survey of American Life
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2017
AuthorsMarshall, GL, Thorpe, R. J., J, Szanton, SL
JournalHealth Soc Work
Pagination1-8
Date PublishedMar 04
ISBN Number0360-7283 (Print)0360-7283
Accession Number28340070
KeywordsAfrican Americans, black Caribbean Americans, material hardship, Mental Health
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.