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College of Social Sciences and Public Policy Racial Differences in the Manifestation of Mental Illness Among Older Adults

Title: College of Social Sciences and Public Policy Racial Differences in the Manifestation of Mental Illness Among Older Adults.
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Name(s): Vaghela, Preeti, author
Ueno, Koji, professor directing dissertation
Cui, Ming, committee member
Burdette, Amy M., committee member
Taylor, Miles G., committee member
Florida State University, degree granting institution
College of Social Sciences and Public Policy, degree granting college
Department of Sociology, degree granting department
Type of Resource: text
Genre: Text
Issuance: monographic
Date Issued: 2016
Publisher: Florida State University
Place of Publication: Tallahassee, Florida
Physical Form: computer
online resource
Extent: 1 online resource (99 pages)
Language(s): English
Abstract/Description: This dissertation seeks to increase understanding about why older African Americans have equal or lower rates of mental illness than whites; despite the general tendency that disadvantaged individuals have worse mental health than advantaged individuals. To explain the unexpected finding from a methodological standpoint, this study uses the 2008 and 2012 Waves of the Health and Retirement Study and examines racial differences in the factor structures of mental illness focusing on symptoms included in the CES-D (Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression) and the BAI (Beck Anxiety Inventory). To understand the implications of these racial differences in the stress process, this study also examines how discrimination, as a type of stressor, manifests into different mental health outcomes (somatic or mood-based symptoms) between older African Americans and whites. The analysis employs structural equation modeling and finds that modeling CES-D and BAI items as mood-based and somatic constructs of general distress has better model fit than modeling these items than as separate constructs of depression and anxiety (Chapter 2). In regard to racial differences in the factor structure of these models, the analysis finds that the factor structure of the somatic model differs between the racial groups whereas the factor structure of the mood-based model does not differ. When examining how discrimination manifests into different mental health outcomes, the analysis shows that discrimination is related to increased mood-based symptoms among whites and unrelated to mood-based symptoms among African Americans (Chapter 3). Additionally, everyday discrimination and lifetime discrimination are related to increased somatic symptoms among whites. Among African Americans, physical disability and financial status based discrimination are related to increased somatic symptoms, and lifetime discrimination and ancestry-based discrimination are related to decreased somatic symptoms. The findings from this dissertation suggest that current measures of mental illness (e.g., CES-D, BAI, etc.) may not measure the same constructs across racial groups and that modeling mental illness as mood-based and somatic constructs may give better insights into the prevalence of mental illness among older adults. Further, this study sheds light on the potential effects of discrimination on an alternative and more culturally specific expression of mental illness symptoms (somatic symptoms). This study also extends the literature on discrimination and mental health by illustrating how different forms of discrimination impact different mental health outcomes.
Identifier: FSU_2016SP_Vaghela_fsu_0071E_13115 (IID)
Submitted Note: A Dissertation submitted to the Department of Sociology in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.
Degree Awarded: Spring Semester, 2016.
Date of Defense: April 7, 2016.
Keywords: African American, anxiety, depression, older adults
Bibliography Note: Includes bibliographical references.
Advisory Committee: Koji Ueno, Professor Directing Dissertation; Ming Cui, Committee Member; Amy Burdette, Committee Member; Miles Taylor, Committee Member; , .
Subject(s): Mental health
Persistent Link to This Record: http://purl.flvc.org/fsu/fd/FSU_2016SP_Vaghela_fsu_0071E_13115
Host Institution: FSU

Choose the citation style.
Vaghela, P. (2016). College of Social Sciences and Public Policy Racial Differences in the Manifestation of Mental Illness Among Older Adults. Retrieved from http://purl.flvc.org/fsu/fd/FSU_2016SP_Vaghela_fsu_0071E_13115