Social Indicators Research

, Volume 64, Issue 2, pp 209–224 | Cite as

Revisiting the Disengagement Theory with Differentials in the Determinants of Life Satisfaction

  • Chaonan Chen


This study proposes that differentials in the determinants of life satisfaction can be used to test if the elderly have a new equilibrium. One's global life satisfaction is taken as an indicator for one's inner world and for the elderly, global life satisfaction is assumed to be not influenced by life domains which indicate drastic social changes, because they are supposed to be disengaged from social activities. On the other hand, global life satisfaction for other adults is affected by life domains indicating social changes, because they are still tightly involved with social activities. The differentials in the determinants of global life satisfaction thus indicate that the elderly have a new equilibrium.A national survey on Taiwanese living conditions conducted by the Ministry of Interior, the Republic of China, in 1998 is used to test the above hypotheses. The analytical results show that the elderly have perceived drastic social changes. Moreover, they do have an equilibrium that is different from the other two age groups.

disengagement theory life domain life satisfaction social indicator 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Chaonan Chen
    • 1
  1. 1.The Institute of EconomicsAcademia SinicaNankang, TaipeiTaiwan

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