Post-retirement voluntary work and psychological functioning among older Chinese in Hong Kong.

Anise M.S. Wu, Catherine S.K. Tang, Chau Wai Elsie Yan

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

70 Citations (Scopus)


This study examined demographic and psychosocial differences between older Chinese volunteers and non-volunteers. The influences of work-related factors on older Chinese volunteers' post-retirement psychological functioning and life satisfaction were also explored. A total of 501 older Chinese in Hong Kong were individually interviewed. About 65% of them were involved in community voluntary work since their retirement, with an average of four hours per week. Compared to those without voluntary work experiences, older Chinese volunteers had higher educational attainment and reported better physical health, higher self-efficacy, greater life satisfaction, and less psychological distress. Results from hierarchical regression analyses showed that salient correlates of a low level of psychological distress in older Chinese volunteers were high educational attainment, high self-efficacy, perceived good physical health, and high levels of perceived rewards and satisfaction from voluntary work. Self-efficacy and perceived rewards from voluntary work were also salient correlates of life satisfaction for older Chinese volunteers. As hypothesized, work-related factors of perceived rewards and work satisfaction remained significant correlates of older volunteers' psychological well-being, even after controlling for demographic and individual psychosocial factors. Limitations and implications of the study were also discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)27-45
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Cross-Cultural Gerontology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2005
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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