Ethnically diverse older adults' beliefs about staying mentally sharp.

Journal Article

This study examined diverse older adults' (n = 396, ages 50+) views about how to stay mentally sharp. We conducted 42 focus groups in four languages at nine United States locations using a standardized discussion guide and methods. The groups represented African Americans, American Indians, Chinese Americans, Latinos, Whites other than Latinos, and Vietnamese Americans. All groups mentioned benefits of social interaction. All groups, especially Chinese and African Americans, mentioned benefits of community engagement. Participants in all groups expressed their belief that mental stimulation, particularly reading, promoted cognitive health; African Americans and Whites were especially likely to say that mental exercises (e.g.; puzzles) were useful. Results suggest opportunities for education about potential cognitive health benefits of being socially connected through senior center activities and volunteer programs.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Friedman, DB; Laditka, SB; Laditka, JN; Wu, B; Liu, R; Price, AE; Tseng, W; Corwin, SJ; Ivey, SL; Hunter, R; Sharkey, JR

Published Date

  • January 2011

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 73 / 1

Start / End Page

  • 27 - 52

PubMed ID

  • 21922798

Pubmed Central ID

  • 21922798

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1541-3535

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0091-4150

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.2190/ag.73.1.b


  • eng