Comparing definitions of successful ageing: The case of Anglo-and Chinese-Australians

Joanne Tan, Lynn Ward, Tahereh Ziaian

Abstract


Research into the concept of successful ageing, or ageing well, within the context of migration has become significant in cross-cultural gerontology and psychology. Given that attributes of successful ageing had been identified in published Western literature, it has been argued that these attributes commonly reflect Western perceptions. This study examined the 20 attributes identified by Phelan, Anderson, LaCroix & Larson (2004) as important to successful ageing, comparing the views of older adults with researchers’ definitions. The sample consisted of 152 Anglo-Australians and 116 Chinese-Australians: English speaking (n = 68) and Chinese speaking (n = 48). Anglo-Australians and Chinese-Australians rated 13 and 14 of the 20 successful ageing attributes as important, respectively. Results also revealed that Anglo-and Chinese-Australians differed significantly on four successful ageing attributes. For Chinese speaking Chinese-Australians, heredity was rated as important to successful ageing compared to their English speaking and Anglo-Australian counterparts. The research contributes to greater understanding of the way in which people from different backgrounds view quality of life so as to better support positive ageing in minority groups.

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Keywords

psychology, cross-culture, Chinese-Australians, successful ageing



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ISSN 1832-7931
Swinburne University of Technology