Ethnicity and Quality of Life

  • Neena L. Chappell
Part of the Social Indicators Research Series book series (SINS, volume 31)

As Gabriel and Bowling (2004) note, the concept of quality of life (QoL) is used to refer to both macro (societal, objective) and micro (individual, subjective) definitions. Bowling (2004) distinguished eight different models of QoL within these two broader categories: objective standard of living; health and longevity; satisfaction of human needs; life satisfaction and psychological well-being; social capital; ecological and neighbourhood resources; health and functioning; cognitive competence, autonomy, self-efficacy; etc.; and values, interpretations, and perceptions. Within the research on ethnicity and QoL in old age this same diversity is evident and there is less research available. Recently, Moriarty and Butt (2004) noted that very little of the work on QoL has focused on people from minority ethnic groups. Furthermore, the literature on ethnicity includes a large number of different ethnic and subcultural groups within many different host nations. These two factors, the relatively few studies focusing in the area, together with the fact that those that do often deal with different ethnic groups in different countries, mean there is insufficient research to draw international conclusions on ethnic groups generally or on particular ethnic groups.


Life Satisfaction Chinese People Filial Piety Host Society Chinese Immigrant 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Angel, J. and Angel, R.J. (1992) ‘Age at Migration, Social Connections and Well-Being among Elderly Hispanics’, Journal of Aging and Health, 4(4), 480–499.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Aranda, O.O.P. (2002) ‘Chinese Immigrants’ Caregiving Experiences with Their Elderly Parents’, MA thesis, Long Beach, CA, California State University.Google Scholar
  3. Argyle, M., Martin, M., and Crossland, J. (1989) ‘Happiness as a Function of Personality and Social Encounters’ in J.P. Forgas and J.M. Innes (eds) Recent Advances in Social Psychology: An International Perspective, New York, Elsevier/North-Holland, pp. 189–203.Google Scholar
  4. Bajekal, M., Bland, D., Grewal, I., Karlsen, S., and Nazroo, J. (2004) ‘Ethnic Differences in Influences on Quality of Life at Older Ages: A Quantitative Analysis’, Ageing and Society, 24(5), 709–728.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Blakemore, K. (1985) ‘Ethnic Inequalities in Old Age: Some Comparisons Between Britain and the United States’, Journal of Applied Gerontology, 4(1), 86–101.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Blau, Z.S., Oser, G.T., and Stephens, R.C. (1979) ‘Aging, Social Class and Ethnicity: A Comparison of Anglo, Black and Mexican-American Texans’, Pacific Sociological Review, 22(4), 501–525.Google Scholar
  7. Bowling, A. (2004) ‘Loneliness in Later Life’, in A. Walker and C. Hagan Hennessy (eds) Growing Older: Quality of Life in Old Age, Maidenhead, UK, Open University Press, pp. 107–126.Google Scholar
  8. Brown, J., Bowling, A., and Flynn, T. (2004) ‘Models of Quality of Life: A Taxonomy and Systematic Review of the Literature’, Sheffield, FORUM Project, University of Sheffield (
  9. Burr, J.A. and Mutschler, J.E. (1993) ‘Nativity, Acculturation and Economic Status: Explanations of Asian American Living Arrangement in Later Life’, The Journal of Gerontology, 48(2), S55–S63.Google Scholar
  10. Casado, B.L. and Leung, P. (2001) ‘Migratory Grief and Depression among Elderly Chinese American Immigrants’, Journal of Gerontological Social Work, 36(1–2), 5–26.Google Scholar
  11. Calasanti, T.M. and Zajicek, A.M. (1993) ‘A Socialist-Feminist Approach to Aging: Embracing Diversity’, Journal of Aging Studies, 7, 117–131.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Chan, M.R.W.W. (2001) ‘Chinese-Canadian Festivals: Where Memory and Imagination Converge for Diasporic Chinese Communities in Toronto (Ontario)’, PhD dissertation, Canada, York University.Google Scholar
  13. Chappell, N.L. (2005a) ‘Perceived Change in Quality of Life among Chinese Canadian Seniors: The Role of Involvement in Chinese Culture’, Journal of Happiness Studies, 6(1), 69–91.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Chappell, N.L. (2005b) ‘Filial Piety among Diasporic Chinese’, public lecture, Hong Kong, University of Hong Kong.Google Scholar
  15. Chappell, N.L. and Penning, M.J. (2005) ‘Family Caregivers in the Context of Health Reform’, in M. Johnson (ed. in chief) The Cambridge Handbook of Age and Ageing, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  16. Chappell, N.L. (2003) ‘Correcting Cross-cultural Stereotypes: Aging in Shanghai and Canada’, Journal of Cross-Cultural Gerontology, 18(2), 127–147.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Chappell, N.L., Gee, E., MacDonald, L., and Stones, M. (2003) Aging in Contemporary Canada, Toronto, Canada, Prentice Hall.Google Scholar
  18. Chappell, N.L., Lai, D., Lin, G., Chi, I., and Gui, S. (2000) ‘International Differences in Life Satisfaction among Urban-Living Elders: Chinese and Canadian Comparisons’, Hallym International Journal of Aging, 2(2), 105–118.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Chappell, N.L. and Lai, D.C. (1999) ‘Chinese Elders: China and North America Comparisons’, in I. Chi (ed.) Researches on the Problems of Elderly Chinese, Hong Kong, Hanchuan Chinese Professional Management Centre, pp. 23–46.Google Scholar
  20. Chappell, N.L. and Lai, D. (1998) ‘Health-Care Service Use among Chinese Seniors in British Columbia, Canada’, Journal of Cross-Cultural Studies, 13, 21–37.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Chen, S. (1997) ‘Being Chinese, Becoming Chinese-American: The Transformation of Chinese Identity in the United States 1910–1928’, PhD dissertation, Salt Lake City, UT, University of Utah.Google Scholar
  22. Chen, A.W. and Kazanjian, A. (2005) ‘Rate of Mental Health Service Utilisation by Chinese Immigrants in British Columbia’, Canadian Journal of Public Health, 96(1) 49–51.Google Scholar
  23. Chen, J., Ng, E., and Wilkins, R. (1996) ‘The Health of Canada's Immigrants in 1994–1995’ Health Reports, 74, 33–45.Google Scholar
  24. Cheng, E., Horn, G., and Hong, M.J. (1978) ‘A Cross-Cultural Study of Minority Elders in San Diego’, San Diego, CA, San Diego University, Centre on Aging.Google Scholar
  25. Coburn, D. (2001) ‘Health, Health Care and Neo-Liberalism’, in P. Armstrong, H. Armstrong, and D. Coburn (eds) Unhealthy Times: Political Economy Perspectives on Health and Care in Canada, Don Mills, Ontario, Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  26. Diener, E. and Diener, M. (1995) ‘Cross-Cultural Correlates of Life Satisfaction and Self-Esteem’, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 68, 653–663.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Driedger, L. and Chappell, N.L. (1987) Aging and Ethnicity: Toward an Interface, Butterworths Perspectives on Individual Population Aging series, Toronto, Ontario, and Vancouver, British Columbia, Butterworths.Google Scholar
  28. Gabriel, Z. and Bowling, A. (2004) ‘Quality of Life in Old Age from the Perspective of Older People’ in A. Walker and C. Hagan Hennessy(eds) Growing Older: Quality of life in Old Age, Maidenhead, UK, Open University Press, pp. 14–34.Google Scholar
  29. Gee, E.M. (1998) ‘Well-being among Chinese Canadian Elders’, International Sociological Association Paper.Google Scholar
  30. Gitelman, P.J. (1976) ‘Morale, Self-Concept and Social Integration: A Comparative Study of Black and Jewish Aged, Urban Poor’, Doctoral dissertation, New Brunswick, NJ, Rutgers University.Google Scholar
  31. Gonzalez, H.M., Haan, M.N., and Hinton, L. (2001) ‘Acculturation and the Prevalence of Depression in Older Mexican-Americans: Baseline Results of the Sacramento Area Latino Study on Aging’, Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, 49(7), 948–953.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Hao, L. and Johnson, R.W. (2000) Economic, Cultural and Scial Origins of Emotional Well-Being: Comparisons of Immigrants and Natives at Midlife, Research on Aging, 22(6), 599–629.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Ho, S-C., Woo, J., Lau, U., Chan, S-G., Yuen, Y-K., Chan, Y-K., and Chi, I. (1995) ‘Life Satisfaction and Associated Factors in Older Hong Kong Chinese’, Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, 43, 252–255.Google Scholar
  34. Ikels, C. (2004) ‘Introduction’, in C. Ikels (ed.) Filial Piety, Practice and Discourse in Contemporary East Asia, Stanford, Stanford University Press, pp. 1–15.Google Scholar
  35. Janson, P. and Mueler, K.F. (1983) ‘Age, Ethnicity, and Well-Being: A Comparative Study of Anglos, Blacks and Mexican Americans’, Research on Aging, 5, 353–367.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Kamo, Y. and Zhou, M. (1994) ‘Living Arrangements of Elderly Chinese and Japanese in the United States’, Journal of Marriage and the Family, 56, 544–558.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Kim, O. (1999) ‘Mediation Effect of Social Support Between Ethnic Attachment and Loneliness in Older Korean Immigrants’, Research in Nursing and Health, 22, 169–175.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Kivvet, V.R. (1993) Informal Supports among Older Rural Minorities in N.C. Bull (ed.) Aging in Rural America, Newbury Park, CA, Sage Publications, pp. 204–215.Google Scholar
  39. Koehn, S. (2005) Community-based Research Seeks to Address Barriers to Access to Care for Ethnic Minority Seniors, Vancouver, British Columbia, Gerontology Research Centre, Simon Fraser University.Google Scholar
  40. Lai, D.W.L. and MacDonald, J.R. (1995) ‘Life Satisfaction of Chinese Elderly Immigrants in Calgary, Canadian Journal on Aging, 14, 536–552.Google Scholar
  41. Lam, L. (1994) ‘Self-assessment of Health Status of Aged Chinese-Canadians’, Journal of Asian and African Studies, 29(1–2), 77–90.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Lam, R.E., Pacala, J.T., and Smith, S.L. (1997) ‘Factors Related to Depressive symptoms in an Elderly Chinese American Sample’, Clinical Gerontologist, 17(4), 57–70.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Lee, R.P.L., Yu, E., Sun, S., and Liu, W.T. (2000) ‘Living Arrangements and Elderly Care: The Case of Hong Kong’, in W.T. Liu and H. Kendig (eds) Who Should Care for the Elderly: An East-West Value Divide, Singapore, Singapore University Press/National University of Singapore and World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd, pp. 269–296.Google Scholar
  44. Lee, M.S., Crittenden, K.S., and Yu, E. (1996) ‘Social Support and Depression among Elderly Korean Immigrants in the United States’, International Journal of Aging and Human Development, 42(4), 313–327.Google Scholar
  45. Li, P.S. (1998) The Chinese in Canada, 2nd edn, Toronto, Ontario, Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  46. Lin, P.Y-W. (2000) ‘Cultural Identity and Ethnic Representation in Arts Education: Case Studies of Taiwanese Festivals in Canada’, PhD dissertation, Canada, The University of British Columbia.Google Scholar
  47. Liu, W.T. and Kendig, H. (2000) ‘Critical Issues of Caregiving: East–West Dialogue’ in W.T. Liu and H. Kendig (eds) Who Should Care for the Elderly: An East–West Value Divide, Singapore, Singapore University Press/National University of Singapore and World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd, pp. 1–23.Google Scholar
  48. Lu, L., Gilmour, R., and Kao, S.F. (2001) ‘Cultural Values and Happiness: An East–West Dialogue’, The Journal of Social Psychology, ISSN: 0022–4545, 141(4), 477–493.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. McDonald, L., George, U., Daciuk, J., Yan, M., and Rowna, H. (2001) ‘A Study on the Settlement Related.Google Scholar
  50. Needs of Newly Arrived Immigrant Seniors in Ontario’, Centre for Applied Social Research, Toronto, University of Toronto.Google Scholar
  51. Miller, A.M. and Chandler, P. (2002) ‘Acculturation, Resilience, and Depression in Midlife Women from the Former Soviet Union’, Nursing Research, 51(1), 26–32.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Miranda, M.R. (1992) ‘Quality of Life in Later Years: Why We Must Challenge the Continuing Disparity between Whites and Minorities’, Perspectives on Aging, 21(1), 4–10.Google Scholar
  53. Moriarty, J. and Butt, J. (2004) ‘Social Support and Ethnicity in Old Age’ in A.Waker and C. Hagan Hennessy (eds) Quality of Life in Old Age, Maidenhead, UK, Open University Press.Google Scholar
  54. Morton, D.J., Stanford, E.P., Happersett, C.J., and Molgaard, C.A. (1992) ‘Acculturation and Functional Impairment among Older Chinese and Vietnamese in San Diego County, California’, Journal of Cross-Cultural Gerontology, 7(2), 151–176.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Mui, A.C. (1996) ‘Depression among Elderly Chinese Immigrants: An Exploratory Study’, Social Work, 41, 633–645.Google Scholar
  56. Nazroo, J., Bajekal, M., Blane, D., and Grewal, I. (2004) ‘Ethnic Inequalities’, in A. Walker and C. Hagan Hennessy (eds) Growing Older: Quality of life in Old Age, Maidenhead, UK, Open University Press, pp. 35–59.Google Scholar
  57. Ng, A.C.Y., Phillips, D.R., and Lee, W.K. (2002) ‘Persistence and Challenges to Filial Piety and Informal Support of Older Persons in a Modern Chinese Society: A Case Study’, Journal of Aging Studies, 16, 135–153.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Pang, E.C., Jordon, M.M., Silverstein, M., and Cody, M. (2003) ‘Health-seeking Behaviors of Elderly Chinese Americans: Shifts in Expectations’, The Gerontologist, 43(6), 864–874.Google Scholar
  59. Pinquart, M. and S. Sorensen (2000) Influences of Socioeconomic Status, Social Network and Competence on Subjective Well-Being in Later-Life, Psychology and Aging, 15(2), 187–224.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Remennick, L. (2003) ‘Retired and Making a Fresh Start: Older Russian Immigrants Discuss their Adjustment in Israel’, International Migration, 41(5), 153–176.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Rubensteen, L.Z. and Kramer, J.B. (1994) ‘Health Problems in Old Age’, Gerontology and Geriatrics Education, 15(1), 23–43.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. Silveira, E. and P. Alleback (2001) ‘Migration, Ageing and Mental Health: An Ethnographic Study on Perceptions of Life Satisfaction, Anxiety and Depression in Older Somali Men in East London’, International Journal of Social Welfare, 10(4), 309–320.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. Stewart, C.C. (2000) ‘Chinese American Families from Taiwan: A Transnational Study of Filial Connection’, Dissertation Abstracts International, A: The Humanities and Social Sciences 61(1), 384-A, University of Minnesota.Google Scholar
  64. Sutton, D.L. and Persaud, D. (1989) ‘Minority Elderly New Yorkers: The Social and Economic Status of Rapidly Growing Population’, New York State Office for the Aging, Division of Program Development and Evaluation, Albany, New York, Research and Analysis Unit.Google Scholar
  65. Takamura, J. (2002) ‘Social Policy Issues and Concerns in a Diverse Aging Society: Implications of Increasing Diversity’, Generations 26(3), 33–38.Google Scholar
  66. Tran, T.V., Fitzpatrick, T., Berg, W.R., and Wright Jr., R. (1996) ‘Acculturation, Health, Stress and Psychological Distress among Elderly Hispanics’, Journal of Cross-Cultural Gerontology, 11(2), 149–165.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  67. Tsang, E.Y.L, Liamputtong, F., and Pierson, J. (2004) ‘The View of Older Chinese People in Melbourne about Their Quality of Life’, Aging and Society, 24, 51–74.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  68. United States the Human Resources Planning Institute (1972) Social Indicators Survey of the Aging, Seattle, Washington, Office on Aging: Human Resource Planning Institute.Google Scholar
  69. Van Ziegert, S. (2002) ‘Global Spaces of Chinese Culture: A Transnational Comparison of Diasporic Chinese Communities in the United States and Germany’, PhD dissertation, Houston, TX, Rice University.Google Scholar
  70. Veenhoven, R. (1999) ‘Quality-of-Life in Individualistic Society’, Social Indicators Research, 48, 157–186.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  71. Walker, A. (2005) ‘A European Perspective on Quality of Life in Old Age’ in H-W. Wahl and D. Deeg (eds) European Journal on Ageing: Social, Behavioural and Health Perspectives, 2(1), March. Heidelberg, Germany, Springer-Verlag, pp. 2–12.Google Scholar
  72. Westerhof, G. (2001) Beyond Life Satisfaction: Lay Conceptions of Well-being among Middle-Aged and Elderly Adults, Social Indicators Research, 56(2), 179–204.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  73. Whyte, M.K. (2004) ‘Filial Obligations in Chinese Families: Paradoxes of Modernization’, in C. Ikels (ed.) Filial Piety, Practice and Discourse in Contemporary East Asia, Stanford, Stanford University Press, pp. 106–127.Google Scholar
  74. Wray, S. (2003) ‘Women Growing Older: Agency, Ethnicity, and Culture’, Sociology, 37(3), 511–527.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Neena L. Chappell
    • 1
  1. 1.Centre on Aging and Department of SociologyUniversity of VictoriaBritish ColumbiaCanada

Personalised recommendations