Published Date: June 01, 2011
As America both ages and becomes more ethnically diverse, how can gerontologists and other researchers ensure that their studies and science account for this diversity? Center Associate Director Steven Wallace, a noted authority on elder health, was asked by the leading journal The Gerontologist to be the guest editor of a specially-themed June supplement on just this topic. Wallace provided the final scientific and editing review, overseeing the final acceptance of more than a dozen peer-reviewed articles on the science of recruitment and retention in research on groups ranging from American Indian elders to older African-American women. Strategies discussed included new models to attract and retain minority study participants, culturally appropriate ways of conducting surveys and collecting data, as well as the importance of good planning and organization. Another critical ingredient? Trust, Wallace notes. "A theme across all the articles was of the importance of building trust between researcher and subject, both by the scientist communicating clearly and respectfully with study participants, and also by having a good understanding of a group's history.
- Steven P. Wallace, PhD