An Exploration of the Subjective Well-Being of the Chinese Oldest-Old

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abstract

The research reported in this chapter focuses on subjective well-being, including life satisfaction and affective experience, among the oldest-old, and related factors, as compared to the young-old. A large sample was used from the Chinese Longitudinal Healthy Longevity Survey (CLHLS) conducted in 2002, which included 11,175 oldest-old (aged 80–120) and 4,845 young-old (aged 65–79). The results indicate that the average rating scores of life satisfaction and affective experience in the Chinese oldest-old were well above the neutral level. Self-reported life satisfaction remained constant or slightly increased with age, while scores of affective experience decreased with age. Subjective well-being was influenced by demographic variables (e.g., sex, education, residence, financial source, and living arrangement), and social supports from family members, friends or neighbors, and social workers.We discuss the implications of these results.