Paper Type

Master's Thesis


College of Arts and Sciences

Degree Name

Master of Science in Psychological Science (MSPS)



NACO controlled Corporate Body

University of North Florida. Department of Psychology

First Advisor

Dr. Jody Nicholson

Second Advisor

Dr. Stacey Alvarez-Alvarado

Department Chair

Dr. Lori Lange

College Dean

Dr. Kaveri Subrahmanyam


Recruitment of diverse populations is a major barrier in advancing clinical research (Areán & Gallagher-Thompson, 1993; Areán & Alvidrez, 2003). The need to increase racial diversity is imperative due to the substantial growth of historically marginalized racial communities in the United States (Weinstein et al., 2017). Despite researchers’ efforts to increase racial/ethnic representation in clinical trials, there is still a lack of understanding of the best practices to recruit racial/ethnic minorities in clinical trials. The current study explores the qualitative motivations of why research participants (aged 65+ years old) volunteered for an Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) prevention clinical trial. Racial/ethnic differences are explored using case-controlled matching between White/Caucasians (n=210; M = 71.01 years, SD = 4.41) and African Americans (n=210; M = 71.26 years, SD = 4.47), and between non-Hispanics (n = 158; M =71.13, SD = 5.33), and Hispanics (n = 157; M = 71.48 years, SD = 5.14). Compared to non-Hispanics, results indicated Hispanics were more likely report the following as motivators: concerns about brain health and aging (59.7%; χ ² = 3.99, p < .05, φ=.11) and improvement of personal brain health (60.9%; χ ² = 4.30, p < .05, φ=.12). African Americans were also more likely to report concerns about brain health (59.6%; χ ² = 4.66, p < .05, φ=.12) compared to White/Caucasians. Results suggest concerns of cognitive decline and brain health are common motivators to participate in AD research, which introduces opportunities to better strategize participant recruitment in clinical research (Coley et al., 2021).