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J Gerontol. 1978 May;33(3):427-36.

Aging in minority populations. An examination of the double jeopardy hypothesis.


The plight of minority aged has been characterized by many as one of double jeopardy: in addition to the disadvantages imposed by their minority group status, the minority aged are said also to experience the devaluation in status associated with old age in our society. Other research has indicated, however, that the gaps between minority and majority individuals tend to decline with age, such that the status disparity between white and minority aged actually may have decreased from middle to old age. To test these competing hypotheses, a series of health, income, life satisfaction, and social participation variables (interaction with family, kin, neighbors, and friends) was examined with data from a large (N = 1269) sample of middle-aged and older blacks, Mexican Americans and whites in Los Angeles County. Differences among the three ethnic groups were found which, in some cases, constituted a case of "double jeopardy" for minority aged. On variables measuring life satisfaction or frequency of contact with relatives, however, the extent of ethnic variation declined across age strata, indicating some support for the "age as leveler" hypothesis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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