Social Support and Quality of Life: China’s Oldest Old

Min Zhou, Ohio State University

In this paper, we explore the relationships between social support and quality of life using 1998 Chinese Longitudinal Healthy Longevity Survey (CLHLS). In societies where adult children are expected to care for elderly parents, it is often assumed that the elderly residing with one of their children would have the best quality of life. We find evidence that suggests otherwise. Elderly people living in nursing homes are more satisfied with their quality of life compared to the elderly living with children. The elderly living alone report the lowest quality of life. Our results point to the importance of social support from friends and peers in fostering high quality of life for the elderly.

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Presented in Session 63: Aging and Household Structure in Developing Countries