A Pilot Study on the Living-Alone, Socio-Economically Deprived Older Chinese People’s Self-Reported Successful Aging: A Case of Hongkong

  • Jik-Joen LeeEmail author


This study fills the gap of literature review in the field of successful aging among non-Western older people. It identifies predictors of self-reported successful aging for living-alone older Chinese people with a relatively low socioeconomic status. Also, it records these respondents’ typical interpretations of the concept of successful aging in their own words. This study employed a single-item, subjective approach to enable elderly respondents to define their own successful aging. It made use of an open-ended question to collect respondents’ interpretations of the concept of successful aging. This study successfully interviewed, at home, 109 randomly selected older Chinese people living alone in two public housing estates. The response rate was 75.6%. Life satisfaction, sex, self-reported health status, satisfaction with living environment and major source of income were crucial predictors of these older Chinese people’s self-reported successful aging. The explanatory power was 50.9%. Several typical interpretations of the concept of successful aging obtained from these respondents were categorized into the following groups: (1) health-related issues, (2) financial issues, (3) personal issues, (4) family issues, (5) psychological issues, and (6) housing issues. Many of their interpretations were consistent with some of this study’s predictors. Living-alone, relatively deprived older Chinese respondents’ self-reported successful aging seems to focus more on subjective predictors than on objective ones. Their interpretations of the concept of successful aging are culturally and socio-economically oriented. These older people’s cognitive assessment of their successful aging is thus largely a personal experience of their daily lives.


Older people Successful aging Life satisfaction Living alone Chinese 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V./The International Society for Quality-of-Life Studies (ISQOLS) 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Social WorkThe Chinese University of Hong KongShatinHongkong

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