Correlates of life satisfaction among the elderly African-American

Marguerite Margee Coke, Fordham University


The study reported here, examined the correlates of life satisfaction among older African-Americans. The sample consisted of 166 African-Americans ranging in age from 65 to 88 years. There were 87 males and 79 females. Included as predictors of life satisfaction were self-rated health, self-perceived adequacy of income, weekly hours of participation in church activities, and family role involvement. Of these predictors, the first two were included because they have been shown to predict life satisfaction in the general population; and the last two were included because the literature of African-American Culture suggested that church and family might be especially valuable sources of support for African-American elderly. The result of the study confirmed that among the African-American elderly in general, family role involvement and participation in church activities were significant predictors of life satisfaction. Results also indicated significant sex differences. Female seniors tended to manifest greater life satisfaction than male seniors. Females also had higher mean scores on hours of church participation per week and higher on family role involvement. They were more likely than males to consider their income adequate. Due to these observed sex differences, separate correlation and regression analyses were run for male and female respondents. These analyses indicated that among males, family role and hours of church participation were related significantly to life satisfaction. Self perceived adequacy of income, actual household income, educational level and self rated religiosity were also significant predictors of life satisfaction. Among females, only self-rated religiosity was related significantly to life satisfaction. These findings were attributed to the generally high levels of family role involvement and church participation among female respondents.

Subject Area

Social work|Families & family life|Personal relationships|Sociology|Gerontology|African Americans

Recommended Citation

Coke, Marguerite Margee, "Correlates of life satisfaction among the elderly African-American" (1989). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI9015945.