Life satisfaction among older adults in urban China: does gender interact with pensions, social support and self-care ability?

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

In urban China, the social welfare system and the family structure have changed dramatically, while gender norms are still deep-rooted, particularly among older adults. Under this social, demographic and cultural context, this study aims to take a gender-specific perspective to investigate whether and how gender moderates the roles of pensions, social support and self-care ability on older adults’ life satisfaction. Based on the survey data collected from 2,047 older adults aged 65 years and over in urban China in 2018, multiple linear regressions were applied to explore the moderation effects. The results show that the pension is important to older adults’ life satisfaction regardless of gender. For social support, the association between family support and life satisfaction is stronger for older men than for older women; interdependent social support, especially being a confidant, matters more to women than to men. The interaction between self-care ability and gender reveals some interesting patterns: self-care ability is found to have a positive association with women's life satisfaction but a negative association with men's. This study contributes to the existing literature by demonstrating how gender intertwines with the most important factors of older adult's life satisfaction in China – a society with strong gender norms and a patriarchal culture. These findings could be relevant to other Asian societies.
Original languageEnglish
JournalAgeing & Society
Number of pages20
Publication statusPublished - 2022
Externally publishedYes

    Research areas

  • life satisfaction, pension, social support, self-care ability, gender

ID: 291605382