An analysis of the double jeopardy hypothesis as it pertains to minority elderly

Coon, Richard
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Sociology and Anthropology

The primary task of this dissertation was to set forth a thorough investigation of the adequacy of the double jeopardy hypothesis as it pertains to the association of age and race. The work was carried out in three separate but complementary steps. In the first stage of the research, the existing literature on double jeopardy was reviewed. A number of theory frameworks were used to determine the theoretical validity of the double jeopardy claim, with respect to minority aged. It was concluded that: (1) there was a definite need for further research on the situation of minority eldery, based on the diversity of findings regarding their life circumstance, (2) that the concept of double jeopardy has merit as a general concept, and (3) that although the concept of double jeopardy is probably appropriate in certain situations, it may well not be with respect to minority aging;In the second stage of the analysis, subjective factors associated with one's general life satisfaction were analyzed. Four attitudinally based variables (general happiness, self-reported health, satisfaction with finances, finances relative to others) were analyzed as representative of variables used in prior research. In line with the theoretical analysis from the first paper, the interaction of race and age were never found to be significant. Thus, the hypothesized double jeopardy relationship was rejected. The impact of race was consistently greater than age. The effect of class was significant in all cases except when looking at general happiness. Age, however, was significantly related to only two out of four variables, happiness and satisfaction with family finances;The third and final phase of this research dealt with analyzing objectively measured variables which can be considered associated with double jeopardy. Once again, no support for the double jeopardy hypothesis was found;Three dependent variables (total family income, marital status, burglary) were used in this analysis and in no case was there conclusive evidence for the presence of double jeopardy. The main effects--stable stratification model always functioned to fit the data almost as well as the double jeopardy model. Further, the interaction effect of age and race was never found to be significant.