Background: Black/African Americans experience a high burden of Alzheimer disease and related dementias yet are critically underrepresented in corresponding research. Understanding barriers and facilitators to research participation among younger and older African Americans is necessary to inform age-specific strategies to promote equity in studies of early- and late-onset neurodegenerative diseases. Study Design: Survey respondents (n = 240) rated barriers and facilitators of research participation. Age-specific differences were evaluated using nonparametric Kruskal–Wallis tests across respondents aged 18–44 years (n = 76), 45–64 years (n = 83), and ≥ 65 years (n = 81). Strategies to mitigate barriers and promote facilitators were further explored via community-based focus groups. Pooled frequency of common themes discussed in focus groups were evaluated and compared across different ages including ≥ 45 years, ≥ 65 years, and mixed ages ≥ 45 years. Results: Younger respondents (aged 18–44 and 45–64 years) expressed a greater need for flexibility in when, where, and how research testing takes place versus adults ≥ 65 years. Focus groups emphasized long-lasting consequences of systemic racism and the need to build and foster trust to resolve barriers and promote research engagement amongst African Americans. Discussion: Age-specific strategies are needed to increase engagement, address recruitment disparities, and promote retention of African American participants in memory and aging studies across the lifespan.
- African Americans
- Alzheimer disease
- Alzheimer disease-related dementia
- Research participation