Longer Residence in the United States is Associated With More Physical Function Limitations in African Immigrant Older Adults

Manka Nkimbeng, Yvonne Commodore-Mensah, Jacqueline L. Angel, Karen Bandeen-Roche, Roland J. Thorpe, Hae Ra Han, Peter J. Winch, Sarah L. Szanton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Acculturation and racial discrimination have been independently associated with physical function limitations in immigrant and United States (U.S.)-born populations. This study examined the relationships among acculturation, racial discrimination, and physical function limitations in N = 165 African immigrant older adults using multiple linear regression. The mean age was 62 years (SD = 8 years), and 61% were female. Older adults who resided in the United States for 10 years or more had more physical function limitations compared with those who resided here for less than 10 years (b = −2.62, 95% confidence interval [CI] = [–5.01, –0.23]). Compared to lower discrimination, those with high discrimination had more physical function limitations (b = −2.51, 95% CI = [–4.91, –0.17]), but this was no longer significant after controlling for length of residence and acculturation strategy. Residing in the United States for more than 10 years is associated with poorer physical function. Longitudinal studies with large, diverse samples of African immigrants are needed to confirm these associations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)411-420
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Applied Gerontology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The author(s) disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: This work was supported by grants from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health Policy Research Scholar program, the National Institute on Aging (NIA# 1F31AG057166-01), and the Johns Hopkins Institute for Clinical and Translational Research (ICTR) which is funded in part by Grant Number TL1 TR001078 from the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS), a component of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and NIH Roadmap for Medical Research. Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official view of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Johns Hopkins ICTR, NCATS or NIH.

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2020.


  • African immigrants
  • Black immigrants
  • acculturation
  • discrimination
  • older adults
  • physical function

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't


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