Psychosocial Mechanisms Underlying Older Black Men's Health.
Objectives:To evaluate the psychosocial mechanisms underlying older Black men's self-rated health, we examined: (a) the individual, cumulative, and collective effects of stressors on health; (b) the direct effects of psychosocial resources on health; and (c) the stress-moderating effects of psychosocial resources. Method:This study is based on a nationally representative sample of Black men aged 51-81 (N = 593) in the Health and Retirement Study (HRS). Ordinary least squares (OLS) regression models of the psychosocial determinants of self-rated health draw on data from the HRS 2010 and 2012 Core datasets and Psychosocial Modules. Results:Each of the six measures of stressors as well as a cumulative measure of stressors are predictive of worse self-rated health. However, when considered collectively, only two stressors (chronic strains and traumatic events) have statistically significant effects. Furthermore, two of the five psychosocial resources examined (mastery and optimism) have statistically significant protective effects, and prayer moderates the harmful effects of traumatic events on self-rated health. Discussion:Conventional measures of stressors and coping resources-originally developed to account for variance in health outcomes among predominantly white samples-may not capture psychosocial factors most salient for older Black men's health. Future research should incorporate psychosocial measures that reflect their unique experiences.
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