The relationship between ethnoracial group and functional level in older persons

Ethn Health. 1998 Aug;3(3):175-88. doi: 10.1080/13557858.1998.9961860.


The objective of this study was to determine: (1) the differences between blacks, Latinos, and whites in relation to functional level, (2) whether these differences could be entirely explained by differences in socioeconomic status (SES) for both blacks and Latinos, and (3) which SES indicators might account for differences in function. Data from the 1570 respondents in the Growing Older in New York City Study, a representative sample of black, Latino, and non-Latino white persons, age 65 years and over, were used. Latinos were significantly more functionally impaired than the other two ethnoracial groups, but this was accounted for by income, education, and the residential environment. Blacks were the least functionally impaired when income, education and the residential environment were controlled. Possible explanations for these results and implications for service delivery are discussed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Activities of Daily Living
  • African Americans / statistics & numerical data
  • Aged
  • Aging*
  • Ethnicity* / statistics & numerical data
  • Female
  • Health Status*
  • Hispanic or Latino / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Male
  • New York City
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Whites / statistics & numerical data