Browsing School of Social Work by Title "Older women: An analysis of the influences of race, health status, and social network involvement on use of community services"
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Older women: An analysis of the influences of race, health status, and social network involvement on use of community servicesThis study examined the effect of race, health status, socioeconomic status and social network involvement on use of community services by elderly women. The data for the study were extracted from the 1984 Supplement on Aging, a national survey of older Americans. The sub-sample used in this study consisted of 6578 Black and White women age sixty-five and older. The Andersen behavioral model of service utilization was used to examine the predictive values of predisposing, enabling and need variables for determining use of community services. Logistic regression analysis was used to examine the individual and combined effects of demographic, individual and sociocultural factors on use of community services by older women. A key issue addressed by this research was utilization of community services by elderly Black women. When race and use of social and support services were examined without controls, there were no significant racial differences in use of social services. However, Black women were more likely to use support services. In logistic regression analyses that controlled for the influences of the other study variables, Black women were more likely to use social services, but race did not have any additional explanatory value for predicting use of support services. When the Andersen model was applied separately to the two groups, the results revealed that the predictive factors operated differently. For example, Black women's use of social services declined with age. Age had an opposite effect for White women, with service utilization increasing with age. The study indicates that strategies for targeting services to diverse racial groups need to consider both within and between group differences in utilization behaviors.