A comparative study on quality of life indicators among urban and rural elderly Mexican Americans

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The purpose of this study was to examine whether or not there were differences between Quality Life and Residency Status among aged Mexican-Americans. The indicators of the Quality of Life were: extent of interaction with family and friends, extent in use of health care services, extent of illnesses, extent of entertainment, and extent of independent living. Residency Status was determined by place of residences urban (Houston, Texas) and rural (Benavides, Texas). One hundred participants were selected randomly to make up the sample. Fifty were respondents from an urban population and $0 were respondents from a rural population. Each member of the sample was Mexican-American and attended a Senior Citizens Center. The theoretical base which was selected for the study was Disengagement Theory. This theory was formulated by Elaine Cumming and William Henry in 1961. It should be noted that this study was not concerned with the process of disengagement or that the elderly disengage from one's self or society. Rather the study assumes that because of externalities and obstacles (income, health, transportation, etc.) some elderly are "forced" not to participate with one's self or society. Socio-demographic measures were used to describe the sample under study to provide a description of the selected sample. In general, the findings were not significant; however there was one indicator of Quality of Life which was highly significant. The level of significance used for the five indicators of Quality of Life were measured at the .05 level of significance. If the level of measurement was .05 or less, the relationship was significant. If the level of measurement was greater than .05 the relationship was not significant. The indicator which was significant was use of health care services: specifically rural aged Mexican-Americans had a higher frequency of use of health services than urban elderly. The indicators in which there was no significance were extent of interaction with family and friends, extent of illnesses, extent of entertainment, and independent living. It may be concluded that indicators of Quality of Life between an urban and rural population of elderly Mexican- Americans are more similar than different.

Mexican Americans--Social conditions, Quality of life