All ETDs from UAB

Advisory Committee Chair

Olivio J Clay

Advisory Committee Members

Michael Crowe

Maya Martin

Despina Stavrinos

Document Type


Date of Award


Degree Name by School

Master of Arts (MA) College of Arts and Sciences


Diabetes mellitus is one of the most common chronic diseases among older adults, affecting all aspects of daily living including restricted life space mobility, driving and building relationships outside of the home. The aim of this study was to investigate the covariate-adjusted associations of cognitive functioning, depressive symptoms, amount of support received and satisfaction with support with life space mobility, driving frequency and driving exposure among Blacks/African Americans and Whites with diabetes. The study used a representative sample of 247 older adults aged 65 and above from the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) Diabetes and Aging Study of Health (DASH). Average age was 73, 45% of the sample were Black/African American, 53% were female, and 47% were married. Results from multiple covariate-adjusted regression analyses revealed that being Black/African American, older, female, and higher depressive symptoms were associated lower life space mobility, less driving frequency and less driving exposure (all p’s < .05) while being married, educated, and reporting better health significantly were associated with greater life space mobility. Similarly, higher cognitive function and lower depressive symptoms was associated with greater life space mobility, more driving frequency and more driving exposure. The amount of support received and satisfaction with support were not associated with any of the outcomes, however, greater amount of support received was associated with less driving iii frequency. The association between cognitive function and driving exposure was stronger for older adults with lower depressive symptoms. Findings from this investigation identify individuals who are at risk for restricted mobility outcomes. Establishing these associations within a health disparities framework would be important as it would draw attention to functioning in later life for racial and socially disadvantaged groups and help inform interventions.



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