Society for Social Work and Research

Sixteenth Annual Conference Research That Makes A Difference: Advancing Practice and Shaping Public Policy
11-15 January 2012 I Grand Hyatt Washington I Washington, DC

94 Aging and Immigrantion

Saturday, January 14, 2012: 8:00 AM-9:45 AM
Burnham (Grand Hyatt Washington)
Cluster: Aging Services and Gerontology
Symposium Organizer:
Terry Y. Lum, PhD, The University of Hong Kong
This symposium is the second of two symposiums proposed by the Association for Gerontology Education in Social Work (AGESW) to present results from empirical studies in the emerging field of immigration and aging. The number of immigrants in the US has reached a historical high in recent year. In 2009, 12% of the all US elderly population was foreign-born. Although literatures in gerontology and immigration have expanded significantly over the last two decades, very few sustained intellectual and theoretical contributions have been made to further our understanding of the intersection of aging and immigration. Moreover, studies of immigrant older adults have largely focused on the racial and ethnic differences, instead of on the unique experience and needs of older immigrants. As the social work profession is one of the major providers of both aging and immigrant services, it is important that social work researchers be involved in shaping the research agenda of this emerging field. This proposed symposium includes three papers that examined factors associated with services need and utilization among older Korean and Hispanic immigrants.

The first paper by Lee explored older Korean immigrants' ability to recognize intimate partner violence (IPV) and their help-seeking intention on IPV. Data were collected from 124 older Korean immigrants. Lee presented vignette that depicted physical abuse in an older couple and examined factors that were associated with their perception of service needs. She found a notably low number of respondents perceived the vignette to depict elder mistreatment. She also found that their ability to perceive IPV increased their propensity to seek help when faced with mistreatment. The second paper by Veles Ortiz, Woodward and Huge examined the association between ties with family and friends and perceptions of mental health needs among older Latino adults. They found that those who had a strong tie with family or friend were less likely to report mental health problem or perceive a need for formal mental health services. The third paper by Casado examined older Korean immigrants' knowledge and attitude toward home and community based long term care services (HCBS). Using data from 146 older Korean immigrants recruited from local aging services agencies, Casado found that most Korean immigrants and their caregivers had very limited knowledge about HCBS. She found that a strong family support network and a high functional dependence increased the use of HCBS.

Together, these three papers demonstrate social work researchers' contribution to understand the services needs and services utilization of older immigrant population. The presenters will also discuss the future of services research in this emerging area.

* noted as presenting author
Social Ties, Age, and Self-Identification of Mental Health Services Needs Among Latino Older Adults
Daniel Vélez Ortiz, PhD, Michigan State University; Amanda T. Woodward, PhD, Michigan State University; Anne K. Hughes, PhD, Michigan State University
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