METHODS: Data were drawn from a cross-sectional survey research conducted among Latinx older adults living in subsidized housing in the U.S.-Mexico border region from October 2020 to March 2021. A total of 101 Latinx older adults (25M/76F) (Mage: 73.99 ± 7.58 years) were included in the study. The survey was conducted via telephone interviews in English or Spanish. Sense of control was assessed using the 12-item Sense of Control Scale. Physical health factors were examined by number of illness (e.g., diabetes, hypertension, etc.) participants have and Activities of Daily Living (ADLs). Neighborhood factors were examined by the 5-item Neighborhood Social Cohesion scale and 2-items assessing neighborhood safety. Social support was assessed by PROMIS Emotional Support and Instrumental Support scales. Descriptive statistics, bivariate correlations, and a multiple regression analysis were conducted. The final regression model examined the effects of neighborhood and social support factors on sense of control after controlling for sociodemographic characteristics and physical health factors.
RESULTS: The bivariate correlation analyses indicate that the participants with higher education tended to have higher level of sense of control (r = .221, p<.05). The more the participants had illnesses, the less they felt sense of control (r = -.266, p<.01). People with higher scores of ADLs had higher level of sense of control (r = .224, p<.05). Neighborhood and social support factors were positively related to sense of control. The final regression model suggests that after controlling for sociodemographic characteristics and health factors, neighborhood safety (β = .226, p<.05) and emotional social support (β = .240, p<.05) remained significantly associated with sense of control.
CONCLUSIONS and IMPLICATIONS: This study suggests that Latinx older adults with low income had stronger sense of control when they felt safer in their neighborhood and had more emotional social support even after controlling for their sociodemographic status and physical impairment. Such findings call attention to programs and policies creating safe neighborhood environment and promoting social support for Latinx older adults with low income to promote their sense of control. Enhanced sense of control among racial//ethnic minority older adults with low income may help promote their well-being and healthy aging in the community.