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Journal Article

An examination of successful aging among Southern Black and White older adults

Research on successful aging in minority older adults and those from certain regions of the United States, such as the South, is lacking. It is important to learn whether disparities exist in Southern Black older adults' perceptions of successful aging compared to those of majority older adults. Thus, this study examined successful aging using focus groups to obtain a regionally and racially sensitive understanding of the phenomenon. Focus group sessions were facilitated with Southern Black and White older adults with questions on successful aging, using content analysis to interpret the findings. Four central themes were found: Connecting and Relating; Temporality; Perception and Interpretation; and Activity. Beliefs and decisions about managing oneself through life events, including health problems and disability, may have a major influence on the trajectory of progressive, chronic illness, and consequently, successful aging.

M. Troutman-Jordan
M.A. Nies
B. Davis
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