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Article

Substance Use among Economically Disadvantaged African American Older Adults; Objective and Subjective Socioeconomic Status

1
Departments of Family Medicine, College of Medicine, Charles R Drew University of Medicine and Science, Los Angeles, CA 90059, USA
2
Department of Health Behavior and Health Education, School of Public Health, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48109, USA
3
Section on Clinical Psychoneuroendocrinology and Neuropsychopharmacology, National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism and National Institute on Drug Abuse, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD 20892, USA
4
Departments of Family Medicine, University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), Los Angeles, CA 90095, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(10), 1826; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph16101826
Received: 20 March 2019 / Revised: 11 May 2019 / Accepted: 17 May 2019 / Published: 23 May 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Substance Abuse, Environment and Public Health)
Purpose. This study investigated the effects of objective and subjective socioeconomic status (SES) indicators on two health behaviors, cigarette smoking and alcohol drinking, among African American older adults. Methods. This community-based study recruited 619 economically disadvantaged African American older adults (age ≥ 65 years) residing in South Los Angeles. Structured face-to-face interviews were conducted to collect data. Data on demographic factors (age and gender), subjective SES (financial difficulties), objective SES (educational attainment), living arrangement, marital status, healthcare access (insurance), and health (number of chronic medical conditions, self-rated health, sick days, depression, and chronic pain) and health behaviors (cigarette smoking and alcohol drinking) were collected from participants. Logistic regressions were used to analyze the data. Results. High financial difficulties were associated with higher odds of smoking cigarettes and drinking alcohol, independent of covariates. Educational attainment did not correlate with our outcomes. Similar patterns emerged for cigarette smoking and alcohol drinking. Conclusion. Subjective SES indicators such as financial difficulties may be more relevant than objective SES indicators such as educational attainment to health risk behaviors such as cigarette smoking and alcohol drinking among African American older adults in economically constrain urban environments. Smoking and drinking may serve as coping mechanisms with financial difficulty, especially among African American older adults. In line with the minorities’ diminished returns (MDR) theory, and probably due to discrimination against racial minorities, educational attainment has a smaller protective effect among economically disadvantaged African American individuals against health risk behaviors. View Full-Text
Keywords: African Americans; Blacks; older adults; socioeconomic status; socioeconomic position; educational attainment; financial difficulty; smoking; drinking African Americans; Blacks; older adults; socioeconomic status; socioeconomic position; educational attainment; financial difficulty; smoking; drinking
MDPI and ACS Style

Assari, S.; Smith, J.; Mistry, R.; Farokhnia, M.; Bazargan, M. Substance Use among Economically Disadvantaged African American Older Adults; Objective and Subjective Socioeconomic Status. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16, 1826. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph16101826

AMA Style

Assari S, Smith J, Mistry R, Farokhnia M, Bazargan M. Substance Use among Economically Disadvantaged African American Older Adults; Objective and Subjective Socioeconomic Status. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2019; 16(10):1826. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph16101826

Chicago/Turabian Style

Assari, Shervin, James Smith, Ritesh Mistry, Mehdi Farokhnia, and Mohsen Bazargan. 2019. "Substance Use among Economically Disadvantaged African American Older Adults; Objective and Subjective Socioeconomic Status" International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 16, no. 10: 1826. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph16101826

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