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The Health, Physical Functioning, and Informal Supports of the Black Elderly

Rose C. Gibson and James S. Jackson
The Milbank Quarterly
Vol. 65, Supplement 2 (Part 2). Currents of Health Policy: Impacts on Black Americans (1987), pp. 421-454
Published by: Wiley on behalf of Milbank Memorial Fund
DOI: 10.2307/3349998
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3349998
Page Count: 34
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The Health, Physical Functioning, and Informal Supports of the Black Elderly
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Abstract

Among the elderly population, blacks are increasing more rapidly-and perhaps differently-than whites. Cross-sectional data from two unique surveys describe their heterogeneity in health, physical functioning, and social networks at "younger," middle, and "older" ages. The relation between age and these factors may be nonlinear; indeed, evidence supports the contention of a racial "crossover" at advanced ages. Life experiences-ecological, social, economic, and familial-of successive cohorts are likely to pose different problems for elderly blacks in the future. Further research into these differences should inform public policy.

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