Six waves of observations spanning a decade on a panel of 566 Black and 5,196 non-Black survivors were utilized to examine social and racial differences in age-related changes in functioning. An index consisting of three dimensions was used to assess functioning: physical functioning, self- care capacity, and self-rated well-being. Growth curve analysis was used to assess variations in trajectories of functional impairment across Black/non- Black, poor/nonpoor, male/female, and high-school/non-high-school graduate subpanels. Trajectories vary across social groups in the expected manner. However, we note that the trajectories are not linear and that substantial variability exists within both the Black and non-Black subpanels. Moreover, we note that Blacks report poorer functional status than non-Blacks even with income and education controlled. However, age changes do not differ across Black and non-Black subpanels, as predicted by the multiple-jeopardy hypothesis.
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