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Home About Us Press Room Archived Press Releases 2011 Press Releases Minority Participants Crucial to Effective Aging Studies

For Immediate Release
July 21, 2011

Contact: Todd Kluss
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(202) 587-2839

Minority Participants Crucial to Effective Aging Studies

A new supplemental issue of The Gerontologist urges aging researchers to include representative samples of ethnically diverse populations in their work. The publication also identifies research priorities for moving the science of recruitment and retention forward, in addition to providing several strategies that scholars can employ in their work. The U.S. Census Bureau predicts that non-white minorities will make up 42 percent of the country’s 65-and-over population by 2050.

“The cultural-historical background and sociopolitical conditions of each diverse group poses unique challenges in developing successful recruitment and retention methods and strategies,” stated Peggye Dilworth-Anderson, PhD, a former president of The Gerontological Society of America, in the issue’s introduction. “This critical collection of articles demonstrates important theoretical and conceptual frameworks that seek to address the shortcomings of previous models of using diverse populations.”

The journal also demonstrates that understanding key components of cultural distinctions — such as values and beliefs, community cohesion, and collective history — has proven to be instrumental in reaching out to these diverse groups.

Included are several reports that detail the costs of minority recruitment and retention, which can be used to provide a blueprint for future studies.

The issue concludes with a summary of four recommendations for furthering the inclusion of ethnically diverse populations in aging research. Authors Anna M. Nápoles, PhD, MPH, and Letha A. Chadiha, PhD, MSW, suggest that: investigators track and report enrollment rates stratified by race/ethnicity, related challenges, and solutions; investigators conduct nested studies of the effectiveness of recruitment or retention within other health research studies; funding opportunity announcements for primary data collection studies include a request for investigators to incorporate a nested study that compares the effectiveness of multiple methods of recruitment and/or retention, especially studies that include underrepresented groups; and funding agencies appropriate targeted funding to investigate specific methodologically challenging recruitment issues, e.g., identifying alternative incentives for recruiting groups that have been discriminated against or that are impoverished in longitudinal cohort studies that may have limited funding to pay monetary incentives to participants.

The supplement, “The Science of Recruitment and Retention Among Ethnically Diverse Older Adults,” was supported by the National Institute on Aging (NIA) and the NIA Resource Centers for Minority Aging Research.

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The Gerontologist is a refereed publication of The Gerontological Society of America (GSA), the nation's oldest and largest interdisciplinary organization devoted to research, education, and practice in the field of aging. The principal mission of the Society — and its 5,400+ members — is to advance the study of aging and disseminate information among scientists, decision makers, and the general public. GSA’s structure also includes a policy institute, the National Academy on an Aging Society, and an educational branch, the Association for Gerontology in Higher Education.

Click here for a printable PDF version of this press release.

Mildred M. Seltzer Distinguished Service Recognition

Presented to C. Joanne Grabinski, PhD, Eastern Michigan University, and Mary Alice Wolf, PhD, Saint Joseph University.

This award honors colleagues who are near retirement or recently retired. Recipients are individuals who have been actively involved in AGHE through service on committees, as elected officers, and/or have provided leadership in one of AGHE’s grant-funded projects.

Administrative Leadership Award

Presented to Tammy M. Bray, PhD, Oregon State University

This award honors administrators on AGHE member campuses who have made exceptional efforts in support of gerontology or geriatrics education.

David A. Peterson Gerontology & Geriatrics Education Best Paper of the Volume Award

Presented to Nina M. Silverstein, PhD, University of Massachusetts Boston; Elizabeth Johns, MS, University of Massachusetts Boston; and Judith A. Griffin, MA, MS, University of Massachusetts Boston, for the article “Students Explore Livable Communities.” Honorable mention is given to Emily J. Robbins, MS, Miami University; Jennifer M. Kinney, PhD, Miami University; and Cary S. Kart, PhD, Miami University, for the article “Promoting Active Engagement in Health Research: Lessons Learned from an Undergraduate Gerontology Capstone Course.”

The purpose of this award is to recognize excellence in scholarship in academic gerontology in AGHE’s official journal, Gerontology & Geriatrics Education.

Graduate Student Paper Award

Presented to Deborah Gray, MBA, University of Massachusetts Boston, for the paper “Weight and Wealth: The Relationship between Obesity and Net Worth for Pre-Retirement Age Men and Women.”

This award acknowledges excellence in scholarly work conducted by an AGHE Annual Meeting student attendee.

Book Award for Best Children’s Literature on Aging

Presented to Caitlin Dale Nicholson and Leona Morinn-Nelson for “Niwechihaw/I help” in the primary reader (pre-K to 2nd grade) category, and Ann Grifalconi and Jerry Pickney for “Ain’t Nobody A Stranger to Me” in the elementary reader (3rd to 5th grade) category.

This award recognizes portrayals of meaningful aging in children’s literature.