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Journal article

Determinants of stability and changes in self-reported Work disability among older working-age populations

Author:
CHOI Namkee G.
Journal article citation:
Journal of Aging and Social Policy, 15(1), 2003, pp.11-31.
Publisher:
Routledge
Place of publication:
Philadelphia, USA

Data from the Health and Retirement Study, 1992-1994, were used to analyse: the prevalence and incidence of self-reported work disability among older working-age populations over a two-year period, and the effect of the stability/changes in physical and functional health conditions, controlling for socioeconomic and occupational characteristics, on the stability/changes in self-reported work ability/disability. Findings show a high rate of transitions into and out of work-disabled status over the two-year period. Findings also show that, although objective physical and functional health problems and low self-ratings of health at wave 1 were significant determinants of self-reported work disability at wave 1, most subsequent changes in objective physical and functional health conditions over the two-year period were not significantly associated with the changes in self-report of work disability between wave 1 and wave 2. Especially, improved health conditions were not significantly associated with regained work ability between the two waves. Of the demographic variables, female gender significantly increased the likelihood of reporting work disability at wave 2, and being Black or Hispanic significantly decreased the likelihood of reporting regained work ability at wave 2. Research and policy implications of the findings are discussed. (Copies of this article are available from: Haworth Document Delivery Centre Haworth Press Inc., 10 Alice Street Binghamton, NY 13904-1580)

Journal article

Prevalence and correlates of perceived workplace discrimination among older workers in the United States of America

Authors:
CHOU Rita Jing-Ann, CHOI Namkee G.
Journal article citation:
Ageing and Society, 31(6), August 2011, pp.1051-1070.
Publisher:
Cambridge University Press

Based on data about 420 older workers aged 50 years and above from a national survey (Midlife in the United States II), this study examined the prevalence of perceived workplace discrimination among older workers, and sociodemographic factors that are associated with workplace discrimination. The analysis indicated that more than 81% of the older workers encountered at least one workplace discriminatory treatment within a year. The article includes tables with details of types and prevalence of perceived workplace discrimination among older workers and differences with age, gender, race/ethnicity, education, occupation and wage. Lower education, racial/ethnic minority status and lower wages were associated with higher prevalence of perceived workplace discrimination. The findings also showed that supervisor support was more essential than co-worker support in alleviating perceived workplace discrimination. The authors conclude that as older adults are increasing workforce participation, reducing workplace discrimination against older workers deserves more attention.

Journal article

Heavy/binge drinking and depressive symptoms in older adults: gender differences

Authors:
CHOI Namkee G., DINITTO Diana M.
Journal article citation:
International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, 26(8), August 2011, pp.860-868.
Publisher:
Wiley-Blackwell

This study investigated gender similarity/difference in the association between depressive symptoms (CES-D), on the one hand, and frequency and amount of alcohol use, on the other, among older adults. Participants included 2,924 community-dwelling adults aged 57 to 85. Heavy drinking was defined as the consumption of 4+ drinks for men and 3+ drinks for women per day. The relationship between CES-D scores and the frequency and amount of alcohol consumption was examined. Findings revealed that 12.3% of male and 8.4% of female drinkers were heavy drinkers. Substantial differences between male and female heavy drinkers were found in sociodemographics, health status, and social support and social engagement. Both frequency of drinking and heavy drinking, as opposed to abstinence, were significantly positively associated with men's CES-D scores, but not with women's. Older men may use alcohol to cope with depressive symptoms, and heavy drinking may contribute to social isolation. The authors concluded that depression screening and treatment for older men should be accompanied by alcohol screening and treatment.

Journal article

Relationship between spouse/partner support and depressive symptoms in older adults: gender difference

Authors:
CHOI Namkee G., HA Jung-Hwa
Journal article citation:
Aging and Mental Health, 15(3), April 2011, pp.307-317.
Publisher:
Taylor and Francis

The purpose of this study was to examine the level of spouse or partner support that may be associated with depressive symptoms in late life, and the gender difference in such relationships. The data for this study came from face-to-face interviews with 2924 community-dwelling individuals aged 57-85 conducted as part of the National Social Life, Health, and Aging Project, Wave 1. Depressive symptoms were measured by the 11-item, 4-point Center for Epidemiologic Scale for Depression (CES-D), and spouse/partner support was measured by a 4-item scale, an abbreviated version of the original spouse support/strain scale developed by Schuster et al. (1990). The results from regression analyses showed that low perceived spouse/partner support, as opposed to unavailability of the support, was associated with higher depressive symptomatology among women only, while high spouse/partner support was associated with lower depressive symptomatology for both genders. These relationship patterns were found in both younger and older groups of men and women. The results demonstrate that, unlike older men with unsupportive spouses/partners, older women with unsupportive spouses/partners appear to be worse off emotionally than their peers who lack spouses/partners.

Journal article

Severity and correlates of depressive symptoms among recipients of Meals on Wheels: age, gender, and racial/ethnic difference

Authors:
CHOI Namkee G., et al
Journal article citation:
Aging and Mental Health, 14(2), March 2010, pp.145-154.
Publisher:
Taylor and Francis

This study describes a large urban Meals on Wheels programme's adoption of the Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9) as its depression-screening tool, and reports on the PHQ-9 assessment outcomes with respect to the rates, severity, and correlates of depressive symptoms. The sample consisted of 736 Meals on Wheels clients, comprising both elderly and younger homebound disabled adults. Analysis of the results was performed to examine differences in the rates and severity of depressive symptoms by age group, gender, race/ethnicity, and cognitive status, and to determine the correlates of depression symptom severity. Of the sample, 17.5% had clinically significant depressive symptoms, and 8.8% had probable major depressive disorder. A significantly higher proportion of those under age 60 years were found to have clinically significant depressive symptoms and probable major depressive disorder. The results show that age, gender, race/ethnicity, income, cognitive impairment, number of chronic medical conditions, and the nutritional risk score were significant predictors of the severity of depression symptoms. Implications of and recommendations for incorporating a valid depression-screening tool into social service agencies' existing assessment process are discussed.

Journal article

Self-neglect and neglect of vulnerable older adults: reexamination of etiology

Authors:
CHOI Namkee G., KIM Jinseok, ASSEFF Joan
Journal article citation:
Journal of Gerontological Social Work, 52(2), February 2009, pp.171-187.
Publisher:
Taylor and Francis
Place of publication:
Philadelphia, USA

Elder self-neglect and neglect by caregivers have been shown to be the most commonly reported and substantiated of the types of elder mistreatment. Using assessment and investigation data from the reported Adult Protection Services cases in Texas in 2005, this study aims to examine the type of elder self-neglect and neglect, including medical neglect. It also examines the association between self-neglect/neglect and individual economic resources as well as health care and social services programmes for the poor. The findings show that a large portion of elder self-neglect/neglect is the consequence of the victims’ lack of economic resources to pay for essential goods and services. Elder self-neglect/neglect is also due to the inadequate healthcare and other formal support programmes for the older adults and their caregivers. The article concludes that this inadequate public policy coverage needs to be considered as a significant cause of elder self-neglect and neglect.

Journal article

Age group differences in depressive symptoms among older adults with functional impairments

Authors:
CHOI Namkee G., KIM Johnny S.
Journal article citation:
Health and Social Work, 32(3), August 2007, pp.177-188.
Publisher:
Oxford University Press

This study used data from the 2,000 interview wave of the Health and Retirement Study from the United States to examine age group differences in the likelihood of self-reported depressive symptomatology among a nationally representative sample of 3,035 adults age 55 years or older who had at least one activities of daily living (ADL) or instrumental activities of daily living (IADL) limitation. Depression was defined as scoring three points or higher on the eight-point Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression Scale. The results show that respondents age 75 years or older with one ADL/IADL impairment or more were significantly less likely to be depressed than were those between ages 55 and 64 with the same degree of functional impairment. It is recommended that doctors, social workers, and other health care and social services providers pay special attention to younger old adults with health problems and functional limitations because they have a greater risk of being depressed.

Journal article

Effects of age expectations on oncology social workers’ clinical judgment

Authors:
CONLON Annemarie, CHOI Namkee G.
Journal article citation:
Research on Social Work Practice, 24(4), 2014, pp.477-490.
Publisher:
Sage

Objective: This study examined the influence of oncology social workers’ expectations regarding aging (ERA) and ERA with cancer (ERAC) on their clinical judgment. Methods: Oncology social workers (N = 322) were randomly assigned to one of four vignettes describing a patient with lung cancer. The vignettes were identical except for the patent’s age and gender. Structural equation modeling served as the primary tool for testing the study hypotheses. Results: Significant differences were found in clinical judgment based on patient’s age, and social workers’ ERA and ERAC which affected diagnostic and treatment judgment for all patients. Lack of congruence was also found between the diagnosis and treatment phases of care for older patients. Emotional reaction was more often reported for the younger patient. Conclusion: Results suggest a barrier to “whole patient” care for all cancer patients and a need for student and practitioner training to place greater emphasis on the treatment phase of patient care. (Publisher abstract)

Journal article

The effect of time volunteering and charitable donations in later life on psychological wellbeing

Authors:
CHOI Namkee G., KIM Jinseok
Journal article citation:
Ageing and Society, 31(4), May 2011, pp.590-610.
Publisher:
Cambridge University Press

Time volunteering in later life has been found to have positive physical and mental health outcomes for older volunteers. Little research has been done on the effect of making charitable donations on older adults’ wellbeing. The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between time volunteering and charitable donations among older adults on the one hand and their individual psychological wellbeing on the other. Data for this study came from the first and second waves of Midlife Development in the United States survey (MIDUS, 1995–1996 and MIDUS II, 2004–2006). The sample consisted of 917 respondents who completed both waves of the survey, and were aged 55-84 at the time they completed MIDUS II. The study examined whether time volunteering and charitable donations measured 9 years earlier by MIDUS had a positive direct effect on psychological wellbeing among individuals measured by MIDUS II. The findings showed that a moderate amount of up to 10 hours monthly of time volunteering and any amount of charitable donations had a direct positive effect on psychological wellbeing 9 years later. The findings also showed a greater effect on psychological wellbeing of any amount of charitable donations than of any amount of time volunteering, although the extent of the effect of both time volunteering and charitable donations was small.

Journal article

Twelve-month prevalence of DSM-IV mental disorders among older Asian Americans: comparison with younger groups

Authors:
KIM Jinseok, CHOI Namkee G.
Journal article citation:
Aging and Mental Health, 14(1), January 2010, pp.90-99.
Publisher:
Taylor and Francis

Both lifetime and current prevalence estimates of mental disorders in the general population have consistently shown ages differences. Using public-use data from the National Latino and Asian American Study (NLAAS), 2002-2003, this study aimed to compare the 12-month prevalence of depressive, anxiety, or intermittent explosive disorder among older Asian Americans to that among younger groups, and to examine age group differences in correlates for these mental disorders. The results found that the 12-month prevalence rate among older adults, 7.4% in the 60+ group, was significantly lower than those among younger groups. They also found that correlates of mental disorder were not the same among different age groups. Among the 60+ group, ethnicity, work status, years in the United States, family conflict, and social disability score were the significant covariates of a diagnosis of mental disorder. The findings appear to suggest that, compared with younger cohorts, older Asian Americans may have lower reactivity to life stressors and more adaptive coping strategies.

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