Social Participation and Self-Perception of Being Old in China

Huijun Liu, Bei Wu, Zhixin Feng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Longer life expectancy means that chronological age is no longer a useful indicator of defining old age. This study included 6,452 participants aged 60 years and older from the 2014 China Longitudinal Aging Social Survey to investigate the relationships between different types of social participation and self-perception of being old in China. Ordinary least square regression was applied. Results show that respondents who engaged in political participation or community participation reported higher self-perception of being old than those who did not engage in these social participations. Respondents who provided more care for grandchildren reported self-perception of being old at younger age. In the context of delaying retirement in China, obligatory participation was associated with an earlier start of the self-perception of being old. Elimination of mandatory retirement and separating that from pension eligibility may be good choices for promoting active aging.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)219-234
Number of pages16
JournalInternational Journal of Aging and Human Development
Issue number3
StatePublished - Oct 1 2020


  • China
  • older adults
  • self-perception of being old
  • social participation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aging
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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