Employment Experience of Marginalized Older People Who Use Drugs in Hong Kong

Vincent Shing Cheng, Florence Kayan Lapto

Research output: Chapter in book / Conference proceedingChapter in an edited book (as author)Academic researchpeer-review


Gerontology and substance abuse studies have demonstrated that older adults and people who use drugs are subjected to negative stereotypes and discrimination in the labor market. However, research on the employment experiences of older people who use drugs is limited. To bridge this gap, this study explored the problems that older people who use drugs in Hong Kong face in the employment market. We investigated the effects of stereotypes and soft and hard discrimination, created by the combined impacts of aging and drug use, on the quality of life and experiences of older people who use drugs. We conducted qualitative interviews with 40 older drug users (aged 51 years or older) between 2019 and 2021, using the help of two employees working in drug treatment facilities and snowball sampling. Our findings indicated that negative stereotypes against older people and drug use remained prevalent in the legal employment market, where the intersection of the negative competence stereotypes associated with age and the negative warmth stereotype associated with drug use created various levels of hard and soft discrimination against the participants.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationQuality of Life in Asia
Number of pages17
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2023

Publication series

NameQuality of Life in Asia
ISSN (Print)2211-0550
ISSN (Electronic)2211-0569

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Demography
  • Education
  • Development
  • Public Administration


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