American Journal of Community Psychology

, Volume 25, Issue 5, pp 721–732 | Cite as

Extreme Social Isolation, Use of Community-Based Senior Support Services, and Mortality Among African American Elderly Women

  • Thomas A. LaVeist
  • Robert M. Sellers
  • Karin A. Elliott Brown
  • Kim J. Nickerson


The effect of extreme social isolation and use of community-based senior services on longevity was examined in a national sample of African American elderly women (ages 55–96). Consistent with previous research on the social integration/mortality link, African American elderly women who were extremely socially isolated were hypothesized to have a higher 5-year mortality rate. It was also hypothesized that use of community senior services would be negatively associated with 5-year mortality. Results of logistic regression analysis controlling for age, education, income, and health status found that extremely socially isolated African American elderly women were three times more likely than the nonisolated women to die within the 5-year period from the initial survey. Use of community senior services did not have a relationship on mortality. Results are discussed in terms of directions for future research and intervention.

mortality longevity social support African American elderly 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • Thomas A. LaVeist
    • 1
  • Robert M. Sellers
    • 2
  • Karin A. Elliott Brown
    • 3
  • Kim J. Nickerson
    • 3
  1. 1.School of Hygiene and Public HealthJohns Hopkins UniversityUSA
  2. 2.University of VirginiaUSA
  3. 3.School of Public Policy and Social ResearchUniversity of California–Los AngelesUSA

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