Stress is a Latent Construct: Exploring the Differential Experience of Stress and Discrimination on Depressive Symptoms Among Black Older Adults

Lauren Brown, Catherine Garcia, Alexis Reeves, John Pamplin, Uchechi Mitchell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objectives: While evidence highlights the detrimental mental health consequences of chronic stress exposure, the impact of this stress exposure on older Black Americans’ mental health varies by exposure to other types of stressors like discrimination as well as subjective evaluations of stress like chronic stress appraisal. Methods: Using data from the 2010/2012 Health and Retirement Study, we use latent profile analysis (LPA) to describe 2,415 Black older adults experience with chronic stress exposure, appraisal, and discrimination and examine which stress contexts are associated with depressive symptomology. Results: Analyses revealed five stress clusters—demonstrating the diversity in the stress experience for older Black adults. Black older adults with stress profiles that include lower stress appraisal report fewer depressive symptoms regardless of number of stress exposures. Discussion: LPA is as an alternative approach to examining the stress-mental health link that can define stress profiles by both exposure and appraisal-based measures.
Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Aging and Health
DOIs
StatePublished - 2022

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