Social Indicators Research

, Volume 51, Issue 3, pp 309–329 | Cite as

Living Arrangements and Quality of Life Among Chinese Canadian Elders

  • Ellen M. Gee


This paper examines the role of living arrangements in thequality of life of community-dwelling Chinese elders (aged 65 andover) currently residing in Vancouver and Victoria, BritishColumbia. Data are based on a random sample of 830 persons[response rate = 71.5%], who were interviewed in their homes inthe language of their choice in 1995–96. Three dimensions ofquality of life – satisfaction, well-being and social support –are examined for married men and women [living with spouse alonevs. living intergenerationally] and widowed women [living alonevs. living intergenerationally]. Few differences are found formarried persons, especially women; for widows, living alonesignificantly reduces quality of life in a number of areas.Regression analyses indicate that living arrangements are not asignificant predictor of life satisfaction or well-being formarried men and women. For widows, living arrangements determinewell-being but not life satisfaction.Overall, age, health status, and social support (havingfriends/confidante) are better predictors of quality of life forelderly Chinese Canadians than are living arrangements. Findingshighlight the importance of: empirically distinguishing maritalstatus and living arrangements in studying the quality of life ofelders; not homogenizing Chinese Canadian seniors with regard toliving arrangements; and focussing on Chinese elderly widows wholive alone as a group at risk of low well-being.

living arrangements quality of life satisfaction well-being Chinese Canadians elderly 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ellen M. Gee
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Sociology and AnthropologySimon Fraser UniversityBurnabyCanada

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