Happy to Live with Thee, but…: Preferred versus Actual Living Arrangements of the Elderly Parents in China

Ye Luo, Clemson University
Danan Gu, Portland State University
Zhenmei Zhang, Michigan State University

Using a national sample of parents aged 65 and over from the 2005 wave of the Chinese Longitudinal Healthy Longevity Survey, this study examines living arrangement preference, its correlates and its effects on psychological well-being. The results show a high degree of consistency between preferred living arrangement and actual living arrangement; 70-80% of elderly parents have the living arrangement they prefer. Preference for separate living arrangement is higher among elderly parents who are younger, married, urban, more educated, financially independent, and with lower levels of difficulty in physical functioning. Furthermore, consistencies in preferred and actual living arrangements are positively associated with psychological well-being. The findings suggest that there are unmet needs in living arrangements in contemporary China. These unmet needs can have negative consequences for psychological well-being.

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Presented in Poster Session 7