The goal of this project is to examine the relationship between sociocultural risk factors and the process of becoming disabled in Hispanic older adults. Components included in the Enabling-Disabling model contained in """"""""Enabling America"""""""" (Brandt & Pope, 1997) will be used to conceptually and operationally define the enabling-disabling process. The Model includes the following components: pathology, impairment, functional limitation, disability, and health-related quality of life. Disability is a function of the interaction between the person and the environment in this model. Two primary criticisms of past research conducted on this model are the lack of attention to potential race and ethnic variations in the disabling process and that previous investigations have only examined isolated components of the enabling-disabling process.
The specific aims are to (1) examine the effects of sociocultural risk factors on the enabling-disabling process among Mexican American older adults, and (2) begin using the components of the model to expand our understanding of aging and to predict health-related quality of life. Data will be collected from 500 Mexican American older adults. They will be a subsample from the Hispanic Established Populations Epidemiologic Study of the Elderly (EPESE). Respondents are representative of 85 percent of Mexican Americans aged 65 and older in the Southwest. Interviews will be conducted twice over 3 years. Sampling plans, rater training, and data collection protocols established in the EPESE study will be used. Structural equation modeling will be used for model estimation. The models will include sociocultural and demographic risk factors, components of the disablement process, and measures of health related quality of life. The findings will extend our current understanding of the process of becoming disabled in older adults and how this process influences important quality of life issues for a distinct ethnic group.
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