Perceptions of community-based services among African American and white elders

Nancy E. Schoenberg, Raymond T. Coward, Molly C. Dougherty

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Currently, researchers have an incomplete understanding of the factors and processes that influence the use of community-based services, particularly among groups known to be at high risk of poor health outcomes and in greater need of assistance, such as African Americans. Although service use involves attitudinal variables, researchers have often overlooked such factors. In this study, the authors conducted 12 focus groups to examine the perceptions of older African Americans and Whites toward community-based service. African Americans were more likely than their White counterparts to assess services positively, particularly senior citizen centers. Whites expressed less enthusiasm toward community-based services, citing a lack of comfort with services that they feel are used predominantly by African Americans, an insistence on self-reliance, and an appreciation for the availability of such services but a reluctance to use them.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)67-78
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Applied Gerontology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1998

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gerontology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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