Objective: This study assesses structural and functional characteristics of Short Form-36 Health Survey (SF-36) domains using community-based samples of older Whites and African Americans. Although the eight domains of the SF-36 have by convention been collapsed into two summary categories- physical health and mental health-the authors examine a three-factor model including physical health, mental health, and general well-being. They hypothesized that the general well-being factor would be a mediator between physical and mental health in both groups. Method: Analyses using structural equation modeling provide support for the approach. Results: In both White and African American samples, the three-factor model demonstrated a better fit than the two-factor model. Also, in both groups, general well-being mediated the relationship between physical health and mental health. Discussion: Findings suggest that general well-being serves as an intervening step between physical and mental health in both White and African American older adults.
- African Americans
- Health-related quality of life