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AARP Multicultural Survey July 2001

5. General Observations

Irrespective of differences in racial or ethnic background, Americans between the ages of 45 and 55 have much in common when it comes to family life. Most view their children as their closest family members, and many rely on faith and prayer most frequently to help them care for their elders. In every racial and ethnic group, majorities believe that they are coping well and use similar coping mechanisms to address the needs of three generations.

Nevertheless, some important differences exist. For example, African Americans face higher incidence of potentially stressful events. Children in minority group families experience the presence of more types of relatives while growing up. Asian Americans, Hispanics, and African Americans are typically more involved in elder care activities than are non-Hispanic whites. Asian American families have particularly high expectations that family members will care for elderly ones. In addition, within each race men and women’s feelings and care-giving characteristics sometimes differ.

Prepared for AARP by Belden Russonello & Stewart and Research/Strategy/Management Page 98

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