Determinants of Self-rated Cognitive Health among Older Korean Americans

Yuri Jang, Eun Young Choi, Min Kyoung Rhee, Nan Sook Park, David A. Chiriboga, Miyong T. Kim, Suzanne Meeks

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Background and Objectives: In response to the dearth of information on cognitive health in older ethnic minorities, in the present study, we examined factors associated with self-rated cognitive health (SRCH) in older Korean Americans. Drawing from the World Health Organization's framework of social determinants of health, we examined how a broad spectrum of factors might influence the way in which older Korean Americans perceive and evaluate their own cognitive health. Research Design and Methods: Using data from the Study of Older Korean Americans (SOKA; N = 2,061, mean age = 73.2), a series of hierarchical linear regression models of SRCH was tested with sequential entry of predictors: (1) Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) score of cognitive status, (2) demographic variables, (3) physical and mental health status, (4) health behaviors, and (5) socio-cultural and community factors. Results: In addition to cognitive screening outcomes, each set of variables made a significant contribution to the predictive model of SRCH. Positive ratings of cognitive health were observed among older individuals with greater education, good physical and mental health, involvement in regular exercise, and socio-cultural resources (social networks, acculturation, and family solidarity). Discussion and Implications: The SRCH of older adults goes beyond cognitive screening outcomes, suggesting a need to incorporate the various sources of social determinants when seeking to promote the cognitive health of older populations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)250-258
Number of pages9
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Mar 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 The Author(s). Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of The Gerontological Society of America. All rights reserved.


  • Cognitive performance
  • Older immigrants
  • Social determinants of health


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