Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

Understanding how race/ethnicity and gender define age-trajectories of disability: An intersectionality approach

Contents:

Author Info

  • Warner, David F.
  • Brown, Tyson H.
Registered author(s):

    Abstract

    A number of studies have demonstrated wide disparities in health among racial/ethnic groups and by gender, yet few have examined how race/ethnicity and gender intersect or combine to affect the health of older adults. The tendency of prior research to treat race/ethnicity and gender separately has potentially obscured important differences in how health is produced and maintained, undermining efforts to eliminate health disparities. The current study extends previous research by taking an intersectionality approach (Mullings & Schulz, 2006), grounded in life course theory, conceptualizing and modeling trajectories of functional limitations as dynamic life course processes that are jointly and simultaneously defined by race/ethnicity and gender. Data from the nationally representative 1994-2006 US Health and Retirement Study and growth curve models are utilized to examine racial/ethnic/gender differences in intra-individual change in functional limitations among White, Black and Mexican American Men and Women, and the extent to which differences in life course capital account for group disparities in initial health status and rates of change with age. Results support an intersectionality approach, with all demographic groups exhibiting worse functional limitation trajectories than White Men. Whereas White Men had the lowest disability levels at baseline, White Women and racial/ethnic minority Men had intermediate disability levels and Black and Hispanic Women had the highest disability levels. These health disparities remained stable with age--except among Black Women who experience a trajectory of accelerated disablement. Dissimilar early life social origins, adult socioeconomic status, marital status, and health behaviors explain the racial/ethnic disparities in functional limitations among Men but only partially explain the disparities among Women. Net of controls for life course capital, Women of all racial/ethnic groups have higher levels of functional limitations relative to White Men and Men of the same race/ethnicity. Findings highlight the utility of an intersectionality approach to understanding health disparities.

    Download Info

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/B6VBF-52F6PJW-1/2/a44f7854663ea22cbb03ee53a80d418f
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Social Science & Medicine.

    Volume (Year): 72 (2011)
    Issue (Month): 8 (April)
    Pages: 1236-1248

    as in new window
    Handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:72:y:2011:i:8:p:1236-1248

    Contact details of provider:
    Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/wps/find/journaldescription.cws_home/315/description#description

    Order Information:
    Postal: http://www.elsevier.com/wps/find/supportfaq.cws_home/regional
    Web: http://www.elsevier.com/orderme/journalorderform.cws_home/315/journalorderform1/orderooc/id=654&ref=654_01_ooc_1&version=01

    Related research

    Keywords: Health disparities Functional limitations Race/Ethnicity Gender Intersectionality Life course Older Adults USA Disability;

    References

    No references listed on IDEAS
    You can help add them by filling out this form.

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as in new window

    Cited by:
    1. Hui Liu & Zhenmei Zhang, 2013. "Disability Trends by Marital Status Among Older Americans, 1997–2010: An Examination by Gender and Race," Population Research and Policy Review, Springer, vol. 32(1), pages 103-127, February.
    2. Seng, Julia S. & Lopez, William D. & Sperlich, Mickey & Hamama, Lydia & Reed Meldrum, Caroline D., 2012. "Marginalized identities, discrimination burden, and mental health: Empirical exploration of an interpersonal-level approach to modeling intersectionality," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 75(12), pages 2437-2445.
    3. Jennifer Montez & Mark Hayward, 2014. "Cumulative Childhood Adversity, Educational Attainment, and Active Life Expectancy Among U.S. Adults," Demography, Springer, vol. 51(2), pages 413-435, April.
    4. Bauer, Greta R., 2014. "Incorporating intersectionality theory into population health research methodology: Challenges and the potential to advance health equity," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 110(C), pages 10-17.
    5. Veenstra, Gerry, 2013. "Race, gender, class, sexuality (RGCS) and hypertension," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 89(C), pages 16-24.
    6. Thomas, Patricia A., 2011. "Gender, social engagement, and limitations in late life," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 73(9), pages 1428-1435.

    Lists

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:72:y:2011:i:8:p:1236-1248. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Zhang, Lei).

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.