The race comparative paradigm, which has been the dominant focus of research on the African American elderly, views the behavior of whites as the standard against which to compare African Americans. The perspective employed in the Measurement Core, on the other hand, is based on the assumption that black-white comparisons are best approached from a cross-cultural perspective that does not assume that one ethnic group should mimic the other. Measurement problems of social gerontology within African American aging deserves more attention. Thus, the purpose of the Measurement Core is to serve as a focal point and catalyst for scientists working in other sections of the Center. Specifically, the Measurement Core is responsible for ensuring that other components of the Center consider and address the cultural sensitivity of instruments used in the Center's pilot studies. The Measurement Core will also stimulate the exploration and discussion of broader cultural issues in research with African American samples. Additionally, the Measurement Core will offer advice and constructive criticism to junior investigators as they plan their studies; assist the two pilot projects in the design and implementation of small data collections designed to explore cultural influences on the measurement of the constructs addressed; and organize a seminar for the purpose of discussing methodological approaches and conceptual issues relevant to cultural sensitivity, cross-cultural techniques and the integration of qualitative and quantitative methods. This component of the center contains a collection of colleagues (Neighbors, Jacox, Akiyama, Antonucci) who are well versed in issues relevant to the development of culturally sensitive measures in African American populations. These researchers will use their expertise to address issues of cross- cultural measurement in African American elderly samples. They will provide consultation in the development of materials and methods necessary for design and implementation of health promotion materials that will deliver crucial health information to the black elderly. This group has successfully developed a set of procedures that can be used to collect and identify descriptions of feeling states and behaviors that can be viewed as culturally-grounded items, measures and materials.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute on Aging (NIA)
Center Core Grants (P30)
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University of Michigan Ann Arbor
Ann Arbor
United States
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