The subjective appraisal of well-being of aging African American men
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Little is known about African American male’s experience in later life. The purpose of this study was to explore the quality of life and overall well-being of a population of African American males over the age of 55. The study included a sample of 150 African American men. For the purposes of this study, quality of life and overall well-being were measured by analyzing the psychosocial variables of social support, stress, health, and life satisfaction. These variables were measured based on the perception (or appraisal) of these participants. Several instruments were used to measure the psychosocial variables, Elder Stress Inventory (ELSI), the Social Support Appraisal (SSA), and the Life Satisfaction Index-Z (LSIZ) was used to measure life satisfaction. A global health question was used to measure self-perception of health status. The analysis of the data for the African American male participants in this study revealed some mixed results. Analysis of the three instruments used to measure the major variables in this study found that in this sample the men reported an average of 5.89 stressful events in their lives. This analysis also found that the sample reported medium/high levels of social support (on average) and a mean score below that of previous studies on the measurement of life satisfaction. Analysis also found a moderate significant relationship between life satisfaction, social support, and health. Also, a moderate significant relationship was found between social support and health. A significant relationship was found between the demographic variable of marital status and life satisfaction. The other significant relationship was found between the demographic variables of income and the variables of social support and life satisfaction. The testing of the broad research question of whether any of the major variables in study act as predictors of perceived life satisfaction (well-being) found that the perceptions of social support may be the strongest predictor of life satisfaction for African American males in this study.