Identifier

etd-04052007-100551

Degree

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Sociology

Document Type

Thesis

Abstract

With a rapidly aging population, maximizing independent living among the elderly is a growing concern. The inability to perform normal basic care activities interferes with an older individual's ability to live independently. In this study, I examine the onset of disability among elderly Americans using the 2002 and 2004 waves of the Health and Retirement Survey (HRS). In examining the explanatory power of both the life course perspective and the medical model, I find that the medical model is better able to explain onset of disability for males while the life course perspective prevails when explaining onset of disability among females. I find little support that living arrangements among the elderly have an impact on the probability of experiencing onset of disability. Finally, I find that differences exist in the precursors of individual activities of daily living (ADLs) disability, which suggests that using an aggregate measure of ADL disability may be masking more effective preventive measures and treatments.

Date

2007

Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Mariano Sana

Included in

Sociology Commons

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