Defining Successful Aging: Perceptions From Elderly Chinese in Hawai‘i

Wei Zhang, Sizhe Liu, Bei Wu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: This study aims to examine the lay perceptions of successful aging among elderly Chinese in Hawai‘i, the state has the highest life expectancy in the United States. Method: Principal components factor analysis and logistic regression models were used to analyze survey data collected among 136 respondents who were asked to evaluate the importance of 12 successful aging items developed in Asian societies involving the Chinese population. Results: Results from factor analysis reveal three distinct factors out of the 12 items of successful aging—(a) psychosocial and economic well-being, (b) physical well-being, and (c) social support from adult children. The former two factors were perceived as important dimensions of successful aging by most survey participants, and approximately 35%-41% respondents viewed items composing Factor 3 as important. Discussion: Results suggest that elderly Chinese in Hawai‘i have unique perceptions of successful aging that go beyond the Rowe and Kahn’s biomedical model to include more psychosocial components. In addition, their perceptions are similar to but slightly different from perceptions of elderly Chinese in China and Singapore in levels of familism. Our findings indicate cultural variation of successful aging.
Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalGerontology and Geriatric Medicine
Issue number1-7
StatePublished - Jul 17 2018


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