Are Contributory Behaviors Related to Culture? Comparison of the Oldest Old in the U.S. and in China

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Bei Wu, Associate Professor (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
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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.

Additional Information

Ageing International, 30(3), 296-323
Language: English
Date: 2005
Contributory behaviors, Impact of culture, Elders, Boston, Shanghai, China

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