Invisible in aging research: Arab Americans, Middle Eastern immigrants, and Muslims in the United States

Gerontologist. 2002 Oct;42(5):580-8. doi: 10.1093/geront/42.5.580.


Recent worldwide events have focused greater attention on the Middle East. Little is known about the diverse populations of older persons living in the United States who have Middle Eastern origins and/or practice Islam. Stereotypes and backlash can negatively influence the quality of life for mid- and later-life individuals and their families. Gerontologists can improve conditions by incorporating new knowledge of these groups into research, policy, and practice to dispel stereotypes and provide appropriate services. This article focuses on the demographic characteristics and diversity among mid- and later-life Arab Americans, Muslims, and Middle Eastern immigrants and their descendants. Further research is needed to shed light on the family support, social patterns, housing environments, health care needs, service utilization, and quality of life among immigrants and their descendants across the life course.

MeSH terms

  • Aging
  • Arabs / statistics & numerical data*
  • Emigration and Immigration / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Islam*
  • Middle East / ethnology
  • Prejudice*
  • Research
  • Residence Characteristics
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • United States