Biopsychosocial Risk Profiles among African American and Non-Hispanic White Adults: Findings from The Health and Retirement Study

a Seminar

Friday, 04/30/2021, 1:00 pm to 2:00 pm.

Location: Online

Karen Lincoln from the University of Southern California will present “Biopsychosocial Risk Profiles among African American and Non-Hispanic White Adults: Findings from The Health and Retirement Study” as part of our 2021 spring Friday Seminar series. This presentation is in collaboration with the Center on Aging and Population Sciences.

 

Abstract: Compared to Whites, African Americans have elevated risk for earlier onset fatal and non-fatal chronic conditions and accelerated aging. Despite these persistent race disparities, the causes remain poorly understood. The purpose of this study was to define a biopsychosocial risk typology that might explain accelerated aging in African Americans. Analyses for this study were based on the African American and White subsample of the Health and Retirement Study (N=8,269). Latent class analysis was used to identify risk types. Chronic health conditions, salivary telomere length (STL), emotional support from family, negative interaction with family, early life adversities, and discrimination were used as class indicators. Latent class multinomial logistic regression was used to identify racial and demographic differences in risk type membership. Three distinct risk types were identified: high risk, health risk, and psychosocial risk. African Americans were more likely than Whites to be assigned to the high risk type characterized by chronic health conditions, shorter STL, strained social relationships and high psychosocial stress. African Americans were less likely than Whites to be assigned to the health risk type characterized by chronic health conditions, shorter STL, optimal social relationships and low psychosocial stress. The biopsychosocial risk typology accounted for population heterogeneity, identified high-risk profiles and modifiable factors within risk types that can inform current clinical interventions. The risk types also revealed different patterns of risk and resilience factors and shed light on the interplay between telomere length, stress exposure, chronic disease and accelerated aging in African Americans.

 

An associate professor in the USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work and Director of the USC Hartford Center of Excellence in Geriatric Social Work, Karen D. Lincoln’s scholarship grapples with issues that are locally, nationally, and internationally meaningful. She is known for her creative application of pioneering statistical models to the examination of social and contextual determinants of mental health outcomes among African American and Caribbean descent populations. The primary objective of Dr. Lincoln’s research agenda is to expand theoretical, methodological and empirical knowledge on Black American mental health and well-being, and to inform and design interventions spanning multiple ecological levels—individual, community, societal—to restore and promote the health and well-being of Black Americans across the life course.

Related Material:

Event Details