Social Indicators Research

, Volume 54, Issue 1, pp 57-79

First online:

Aging and Life Satisfaction

  • Chaonan ChenAffiliated withThe Institute of Economics, Academia Sinica

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This paper was intended to examine how major life events – suchas retirement, deterioration of health, and loss of spouse –experienced in the aging process may affect the elderly's lifesatisfaction. An explanation was also proposed to the change inthe effects of age groups on life satisfaction because of thecontrol of the aging effect. A simple form of a longitudinalsurvey conducted in Taiwan in 1989 and 1993 was used for theempirical test. It was found that life satisfaction among theelderly decreased as age increased beyond 65 years of age. Itwas also found that social demographic variables, an incomedecrease, living arrangement, and level of activity participationhave a profound impact on life satisfaction of Taiwan's elderly. When the correlates were controlled, the coefficients for agegroups greater than 70 turned positive. This change could beexplained by two types of cohort experience: (1) from rough toprosperous life experience and (2) cohort norm on lifeexpectancy.

activity participation aging cohort life events life satisfaction subjective well-being