K. Ferraro conceived of the manuscript, drafted sections, and integrated sections written by co-authors. We need the complementarity of the structure-agency debate to sort out which behaviors and lifestyles are due to racism and which are due to responses to racism.

RCMAR Analysis Cores provide methodological and analytic resources for minority aging research. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs licence (. interviews, and a cognitive interview demonstration video. Sparked by Barker and Osmond’s (1986) pioneering research on the health consequences of fetal nutrition, Fox and colleagues (2015) propose “fetal programming” as an underlying cause of the observed generational decline in health among Hispanic Americans. The literature generally reveals deleterious effects of residential segregation on health behaviors and lifestyles of Black adults (Kershaw, Albrecht, & Carnethon, 2013; Williams & Collins, 2001), but not for Hispanic adults. qualitative approaches that are widely used to explore concepts, generate items First, although racism is prevalent in many complex societies, not all people in racial and ethnic minorities feel the brunt of it. A new publication from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine identifies eight key demographic trends shaping the rapidly growing U.S. population ages 65 and older—projected to nearly double from 51 million in 2017 to 95 million by 2060..

Results from Peek and colleagues for Black Americans are consistent with the weathering hypothesis but not for Mexican Americans. The fact that foreign-born Hispanics are healthier than their U.S.-born counterparts suggests the viability of a healthy immigrant effect (Salazar et al. The accumulated research shows that health disparities by race have fluctuated—some gaps have shrunk, whereas others have expanded (Bleich, Jarlenski, Bell, & LaVeist, 2012; National Center for Health Statistics, 2016; Olshansky et al., 2012). Another thesis that has garnered attention is that lighter-skinned Black people are advantaged compared to their darker-skinned counterparts on a host of social and economic outcomes (Keith & Herring, 1991) and perhaps on health (Klonoff & Landrine, 2000). To better understand the causes and consequences of health disparities, we should consider more sophisticated assessments of individuals’ cumulative biological, social, and environmental risks and assess exposures throughout the life course. Integrating the first four recommendations also means that we need attention to changing environmental contexts and the evolution of ethnic identity. For decades, researchers reported that Black Americans rate their health worse (Farmer & Ferraro, 2005), have shorter life expectancies (Hummer, 1996), live a greater proportion of life with a disability (Hayward & Heron, 1999), and have higher rates of many of the leading causes of death such as cancer and heart disease (National Center for Health Statistics, 2016; Siegel, Miller, & Jemal, 2016; Sorlie, Backlund, & Keller, 1995). We need parallel studies related to the processes leading to racial and ethnic health inequality, whether direct or indirect. First, the evidence to support weathering as a process of premature aging may be limited to certain periods of the life course. for new measures, and pretest existing measures. Download the Document. Thus, the same insult may lead to divergent health consequences (or none at all) because the response to the insult may vary. It furthers the University's objective of excellence in research, scholarship, and education by publishing worldwide, This PDF is available to Subscribers Only. An evolving literature has emerged that focuses on the potential of early-life events and experiences to set the stage for later life health, but relatively little attention has been given to racial and ethnic differences in the processes linking early-life exposures to later-life health outcomes. However, racial and ethnic gaps are still manifest for all ten measures considered in the report (e.g., hypertension, infant mortality), confirming that health inequality by race and ethnicity remains substantial (National Center for Health Statistics, 2016). Exposure to toxins, whether naturally occurring or due to pollution, may lead to or exacerbate health problems, but social environments can be equally detrimental to health. Even here, however, research reveals that this relationship varies by country of origin of the Hispanic Americans (Nelson, 2013; Palloni & Arias, 2004). Drawing from cumulative inequality theory, we propose greater use of life course analysis, more attention to variability within racial and ethnic groups, and better integration of environmental context into the study of accumulation processes leading to health disparities. We need studies of both processes. Focus groups are widely used in research on disparities and minority aging to explore concepts, generate items for new measures, and evaluate existing measures. To begin, we note that although the word inequality has become part of the public lexicon in recent years, inequality is more than just a difference between individuals or human collectivities. Moreover, some health risks such as obesity are more prevalent among Black adults (Jackson et al., 2013), whereas others such as smoking and alcohol consumption are more prevalent among White adults (Keyes et al., 2015). Racism is prevalent in many societies and manifest on multiple levels, from national and regional policies to interpersonal relations. (, Crimmins, E. M.Kim, J. K.Alley, D. E.Karlamangla, A., & Seeman, T. (, Diez Roux, A. V.Ranjit, N.Jenny, N. S.Shea, S.Cushman, M.Fitzpatrick, A., & Seeman, T. (, Drury, S. S.Esteves, K.Hatch, V.Woodbury, M.Borne, S.Adamski, A., & Theall, K. P. (, Everson-Rose, S. A.Lutsey, P. L.Roetker, N. S.Lewis, T. T.Kershaw, K. N.Alonso, A., & Roux, A. V. D. (, Ferraro, K. F.Schafer, M. H., & Wilkinson, L. R. (, Fox, M.Entringer, S.Buss, C.DeHaene, J., & Wadhwa, P. D. (, Geronimus, A. T.Hicken, M.Keene, D., & Bound, J. Moreover, for those who become parents, the influence typically becomes reciprocal: parents influence their children’s health, but children also influence their parent’s health.

Perceived discrimination has been proposed as a stressor and likely affects health via stress response processes and health behaviors (Kessler, Mickelson, & Williams, 1999; Pascoe & Smart Richman, 2009), but evidence is needed on specific pathways. (, Borrell, L. N.Kiefe, C. I.Williams, D. R.Diez-Roux, A. V., & Gordon-Larsen, P. (, Chae, D. H.Nuru-Jeter, A. M.Adler, N. E.Brody, G. H.Lin, J.Blackburn, E. H., & Epel, E. S. (, Collins, J. W.Rankin, K. M., & Hedstrom, A. Publisher: Administration for Community Living; Type: … For full access to this pdf, sign in to an existing account, or purchase an annual subscription. Generation 2 reproduces the interrelationships among most variables but accentuates the role of family lineage. (, Geronimus, A. T.Hicken, M. T.Pearson, J. A.Seashols, S. J.Brown, K. L., & Cruz, T.D.

Despite the efforts of scholars to explain racial and ethnic gaps in health, many unresolved issues remain. For stress responses, many scholars have studied hormones such as cortisol, or salivary enzymes such as α-amylase, because they are released in response to stressors.

A., & Ferraro, K. F. (, Kershaw, K. N.Albrecht, S. S., & Carnethon, M. R. (, Kessler, R. C.Mickelson, K. D., & Williams, D. R. (, Keyes, K. M.Vo, T.Wall, M. M.Caetano, R.Suglia, S. F.Martins, S. S., … Hasin, D. (, Kuh, D.Ben-Shlomo, Y.Lynch, J.Hallqvist, J., & Power, C. (, Landrine, H.Klonoff, E. A.Corral, I.Fernandez, S., & Roesch, S. (, Lara, M.Gamboa, C.Kahramanian, M. I.Morales, L. S., & Bautista, D. E. (, Olshansky, S. J.Antonucci, T.Berkman, L.Binstock, R. H.Boersch-Supan, A.Cacioppo, J. T., … Jackson, J. For example, research has shown that for older Hispanic adults, particularly Mexican Americans, living in neighborhoods with high Hispanic density reap a health-protective benefit—a phenomenon known as the barrio advantage (Aranda, Ray, Snih, Ottenbacher, & Markides, 2011; Lee & Ferraro, 2007). Given that early-life events and experiences shape life perceptions and health trajectories (Ferraro & Shippee, 2009), it would be ideal to know about perceived discrimination at multiple periods of the life course; doing so would enable one to differentiate recurring experiences from one or two episodes only (Landrine, Klonoff, Corral, Fernandez, & Roesch, 2006; Williams, Neighbors, & Jackson, 2003). The weathering hypothesis attracted considerable scholarly interest and has helped advance research on health inequality by race.

Better knowledge of acculturation and ethnic identity may help explain such findings. By themselves, the variables of race and ethnicity are useful but ultimately fairly crude indicators of the concepts implied by their use. For instance, some research suggests that Black newborns have longer telomeres than White newborns (Drury et al. Although gerontologists have long embraced the concept of heterogeneity in theories and models of aging, recent research reveals the importance of racial and ethnic diversity on life course processes leading to health inequality. Explaining the skin color–hypertension relationship, Shades of difference: Theoretical underpinnings of the medical controversy on Black/White differences in the United States, 1830–1870, Methods for the scientific study of discrimination and health: An ecosocial approach, Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, Conceptualizing and measuring ethnic discrimination in health research, Acculturation and Latino health in the United States: A review of the literature and its sociopolitical context, 10.1146/annurev.publhealth.26.021304.144615, Neighborhood residential segregation and physical health among Hispanic Americans: Good, bad, or benign, The health of Hispanics in the southwestern United States: An epidemiologic paradox, Health, United States, 2015: With special feature on racial and ethnic health disparities, Does residential segregation help or hurt?