Objectives: To investigate the relationship between cognitive performance and cognitive health appraisals across non-Hispanic White, non-Hispanic Black, and Hispanic older adults in the United States and to explore within-group variations by examining interactions between cognitive performance and background and health variables. Method: The sample (N = 3,099) included 2,260 non-Hispanic White, 498 non-Hispanic Black, and 341 Hispanic adults aged 65 or older, from the 2016–2017 Harmonized Cognitive Assessment Protocol. Regression models of cognitive health appraisals, indicated by self-rated cognitive health, were examined in the entire sample and in racial and ethnic subgroups to test direct and interactive effects of cognitive performance, indicated by the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE). Results: The regression model for the entire sample showed direct effects of cognitive performance and race/ethnicity on cognitive health appraisals, as well as a significant interaction between cognitive performance and being non-Hispanic Black. Cognitive performance and cognitive health appraisals were positively associated in non-Hispanic Whites but not significantly associated in non-Hispanic Blacks. Our subsequent analysis within each racial/ethnic group showed that the effect of cognitive performance in non-Hispanic Blacks and Hispanics became either reversed or nonsignificant when background and health variables were considered. Modification by age or chronic medical conditions in each racial and ethnic group was also observed. Conclusion: Overall, these findings suggest that perceptions and appraisals of cognitive health vary by race and ethnicity and hold implications for how these differences should be considered in research and practice with diverse groups of older adults.
- Cognitive aging
- depressive symptoms
- non-Hispanic Blacks
- older racial/ethnic minorities
- self-rated cognitive health