Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Granting Department


Major Professor

Sara Green


Aging studies, Long-term care, Race/ethnicity


This study used data from the 2008 wave of the Health and Retirement Study to examine variations in relationships among selected psychosocial characteristics, race/ethnicity and expectations of nursing home utilization in the United States, with a particular focus on Latino/a subgroups. This study sought to test a modified version of the Andersen and Newman model of health service utilization. Findings revealed that expectations of nursing home utilization remained lower among Latino/as than in the Non-Latino White sub-groups, even when levels of need, enabling, and predisposing factors were controlled for. However, for Mexican Origin respondents (who are often arbitrarily combined with other individuals of various Latino nationalities as one homogenous group) never differed significantly from the White reference group. The inclusion of the selected psychosocial characteristics (attitudes towards one's own aging, personal mastery, religiosity, and perceived family support/ family satisfaction) increased the explanatory power of regression models tested. Having a high sense of personal mastery, as well as having a more positive attitude towards one's own aging, were associated with lower expectations of nursing home use. An important implication of this study is that the Latino/a population in the United States should not be treated as a homogenous, pan-ethnic group, particularly in regards to health service use. Also, psychosocial characteristics are relevant when considering expectations for nursing home use

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Sociology Commons