Determinants of life satisfaction and self-perception of ageing among elderly people in China: An exploratory study in comparison between physical and social functioning

Yao Pan, Sunny H.W. Chan (Corresponding Author), Yuebin Xu, Ka Ching Yeung

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Objective: This study attempted to figure out the difference between physical and social functioning in determining life satisfaction and self-perception of ageing among community-dwelling elderly people in China. Methods: A representative random sample of 2161 participants aged 60 years or older was surveyed by face-to-face interview. Sociodemographic factors were measured by age, educational level, and marital status. Physical functioning was identified in terms of self-perceived health, basic and instrumental activities of daily living, and number of chronic illnesses. Social functioning was characterized in terms of number of people living together, social support network, and sense of loneliness. Hierarchical multiple linear regressions were performed to identify significant determinants of life satisfaction and self-perception of ageing. Results: Older age and lower educational level were related to higher degree of life satisfaction; whereas younger age and higher educational level were related to higher level of self-perception of ageing. Social functioning took precedence over physical functioning in contributing to life satisfaction. In contrast, physical functioning outweighed social functioning in promoting a positive self-perception of ageing. Conclusion: A sense of companionship and a supportive social network are vital in enhancing life satisfaction, whereas perceived physical health and functional independence are essential in facilitating a positive self-perception of ageing. Understanding the underlying determinants can provide a novel insight into the mechanism involved in achieving successful ageing.

Original languageEnglish
Article number103910
JournalArchives of Gerontology and Geriatrics
Volume84
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2019

Keywords

  • Life satisfaction
  • Physical functioning
  • Self-perception of ageing
  • Social functioning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Ageing
  • Gerontology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology

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