Are contributory behaviors related to culture? Comparison of the oldest old in the United States and in China

Bei Wu, Yuwen Yue, Nina M. Silverstein, Doris Toby Axelrod, Li Li Shou, Pei Pei Song

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The purpose of this study is to examine the impact of culture on contributory behaviors within the context of family, friends, and neighbors among the oldest old in the United States and in China. The study was conducted in suburban areas of Boston in 1996 (n = 465), and later in 1999 a replication of the study was conducted by Chinese researchers in urban areas of Shanghai, China (n = 539). This study found some common factors such as objective measure of health status, assistance received from others, and group affiliation. However, many differences emerged in the study. The range of contributory behaviors toward friends is quite different between the two samples. Some of the correlates' impact is also culturally specific, such as sibling support. These differences reflect variation in respondents' social support as well as social structural differences. Findings from this study suggest that providing more opportunities for elders to participate in groups would facilitate their participation in volunteer activities and improve their overall well-being.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)296-323
Number of pages28
JournalAgeing International
Volume30
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)

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