Social Capital among Older Chinese Adults: An Exploratory Study of Quality of Life and Social Capital in a Chinese Urban Community

By Honglin Chen, Wong Yu-Cheung and Kinsun Chan.

Published by The Social Sciences Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Older adults now constitute a fast-growing cohort of the Chinese population. They are also active participants in civic activities, even within the limited scope available to citizens. Social capital and its key elements, despite having a different connotation from the Western concept, still have strong implications for the quality of life (QoL) of older Chinese adults. The current study tries to explore how both individual and perceived community social capital affect the QoL of elders living in urban communities in China. This paper presents the findings of this study, and goes on to identify differences between groups of older adults whose age and health status differs in terms of the impact of social engagement. The study adopted a quantitative approach to explore social participation among elders in a typical urban community in Shanghai, focusing on the social participation processes that help to build up or maintain their social capital. The survey used a proportional sampling approach and gathered data using questionnaire-based, in-person interviews. More than 400 residents in the selected communities were interviewed.

Keywords: Social Capital, Older Adults, China

International Journal of Interdisciplinary Social Sciences, Volume 4, Issue 9, pp.107-124. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.436MB).

Dr. Honglin Chen

PhD Student, The Department of Social Work and Social Administration, The University of Hong Kong, HongKong, Hong Kong, China

Honglin Chen, MSW, PhD, Research Fellow. Her research interests focuses on aging, youth education, social policy, and practical social work. Contact information of the author: The University of Hong Kong, Department of Social Work and Social Administration, Pokfulam Road, Hong Kong.

Wong Yu-Cheung

Assistant Professor, Department of Social Work & Social Administration, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China

Yu-Cheung Wong, R.S.W., PhD, Assistant Professor, Department of Social Work & Social Administration, The University of Hong Kong. Fields of interest: internet-based learning environments, social issues in information society, social service evaluation.

Kinsun Chan

University of Macau, Macau, China

Kinsun Chan, Assistant Professor, University of Macau, Fields of interest: suicidology, gerontology, public finance and political psychology.


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