Perceived threat of Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias among older Chinese Americans in subsidized housing: Through a cultural lens

Yan Shi, Fei Sun, Yanqin Liu, Flavio F. Marsiglia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

Purposes: Low socioeconomic status and limited social support may put older residents in subsidized housing at high risk for developing fears of Alzheimer’s disease or related dementias. This study examined the perceived threat of Alzheimer’s disease or related dementias among older Chinese Americans in subsidized housing facilities in Phoenix, Arizona of the United States, and focused on the effect of cultural beliefs (i.e., beliefs toward Alzheimer’s disease or related dementias, and beliefs toward intergenerational support) on the perceived threat of Alzheimer’s disease or related dementias. Method: Analyses were based upon a survey of 207 Chinese American older adults (Mage = 75.37, SD = 7.47) living in subsidized housing facilities in the Phoenix metropolitan area. Standardized survey questionnaires were delivered through face-to-face interviews. Results: Multivariate analyses suggest that fatalism related beliefs about Alzheimer’s disease or related dementias, rather than stigmatization, were related to higher levels of concerns for developing Alzheimer’s disease or related dementias, while beliefs in intergenerational support were related to lower levels of perceived threat of Alzheimer’s disease or related dementias. However, the protective effect of beliefs in intergenerational support tended to diminish in those living with higher levels of depressive symptoms. Discussion: Cultural beliefs can entail both risks and strengths when low-income Chinese American elders attempt to comprehend the implications of Alzheimer’s disease or related dementias. Health education or intervention programs need to address their fatalism beliefs toward Alzheimer’s disease or related dementias, and facilitate the accessibility of intergenerational support for this group.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalDementia
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2018

Keywords

  • Chinese American
  • cultural beliefs
  • fatalism
  • perceived threat of Alzheimer’s disease
  • senior housing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Social Sciences(all)

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