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Age of Wisdom: Elderly
Black Women in Family
and Church

 Jane W. Peterson



    One historical response of African American peoples has been to establish community-based mechanisms of support that could buffer the shock of long-term discrimination on the individual. Medical anthropologist Jane Peterson draws upon her experience as a professional nurse and explores the participation of older women in both extended family and church-based care systems in an African American community in Seattle, Washington.




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King, S., E. Burgess, M. Akinyela, M. Counts-Spriggs and N. Parker. 2005. “Your Body Is God’s Temple: The Spiritualization of Health Beliefs in Multigenerational African American Families.” Research on Aging 27(4):420–46.


Lee, O. and T. Sharpe. 2007. “Understanding Religious/Spiritual Coping and Support Resources among African American Older Adults: A Mixed-Method Approach.” Journal of Religion, Spirituality & Aging 19(3):55–75.


Ruiz, D. 2004. Amazing Grace: African American Grandmothers as Caregivers and Conveyers of Traditional Values. Westport, CT: Praeger.




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