Document Type



Doctor of Philosophy



Date of Defense


Graduate Advisor

Kuei-Hsiang Hsueh, Ph.D., RN


Ann Steffen, Ph.D., ABPP

Kathie Records, Ph.D., RN, FAAN

Margaret Barton-Burke, Ph.D., RN, FAAN

Maryann Bozzette, Ph.D., RN


The purpose of this secondary data analysis was to identify potential psychosocial predictors of cognition, including social support, depression, and functional activity, among older African Americans, ≥ 65 years, with a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease and living in congregate residential settings. Guided by the main effect model of social support, this study used existing data from the National Alzheimer’s Coordinating Center Uniform Data Set, an NIH-funded multicenter study. Results showed that on average, the participants (n=56) were 81.7 years of age with 13.8 years of education. All, but six, were married. Bivariate Pearson correlations indicate a moderately strong negative relationship between frequency of phone calls and functional activities (r= -.46, p<.01). On the other hand, there is a strong positive relationship between frequency of phone calls and cognition (r=.46, p<.05). For functional activity, there was a strong inverse relationship between IADLs and level of cognition (r= -.66, p<.01). Further results on hierarchical multiple regression suggest that the extent of social support F(9,46)=4.16, p<.01, R2=.44, adjusted R2=.33, and level of functional activity F(8,47)=8.47, p<.01, R2=.58, adjusted R2=.51 predicted level of cognition. Results of model testing suggest that social support explained 44% of the variance for level of cognition, while functional activity accounted for 58% of the variance for level of cognition. Results of the study have implications for future research, nursing practice, and policy that can benefit this population and their informal caregivers. Future research should consider the type of support and level of satisfaction and further investigate which functional activity items are greatly affected as the disease progresses to create culturally-tailored interventions.