Bereavement among African American and White older adults

Academic Article


  • Purpose: The authors examined epidemiology and sociodemographic predictors of spousal, nonspousal family, and friendship bereavement among African American and White community-dwelling older adults using longitudinal data from 839 participants of the University of Alabama at Birmingham Study of Aging, a prospective cohort study of a random sample of Alabama Medicare beneficiaries. Method: Authors calculated cumulative incidences of each type of loss and used logistic regression to identify factors significantly and independently associated with loss. Results: Of participants, 71% reported at least one loss; 50% reported nonspousal family loss, and 37% reported friendship loss. For married participants, the cumulative incidence of spousal loss was 8.1%. Female sex and income < $12,000 were predictors of spousal loss. Female sex and education ≥ 12 years were predictors of friendship loss. Higher educated African American women were at greater risk of nonspousal family loss. Discussion: Future research should examine bereavement burden and identify health outcomes of multiple losses. © 2007 Sage Publications.
  • Published In

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Williams BR; Sawyer Baker P; Allman RM; Roseman JM
  • Start Page

  • 313
  • End Page

  • 333
  • Volume

  • 19
  • Issue

  • 2