Title

Relationship with others and life satisfaction in later life : do gender and widowhood make a difference?

Document Type

Journal article

Source Publication

Journals of Gerontology. Series B: Psychological Sciences & Social Sciences

Publication Date

1-1-2006

Volume

61

Issue

1

First Page

46

Last Page

53

Abstract

In this study we investigated whether social relationship is a stronger determinant of life satisfaction in older women than in older men, and whether this is more obvious in widowed than in married persons, in a representative sample of Chinese individuals aged 60 or older in Hong Kong (N = 1,616). We tested the moderating effect of gender and widowhood by means of a multigroup analysis in structural equation modeling that incorporated other major predictors of life satisfaction. Consistent with predictions, relatedness was much more important for women than for men. Furthermore, relatedness was the most important determinant of life satisfaction in women, regardless of marital status, but it was only a moderate predictor in married men, and even an irrelevant factor in widowers. We discuss the results in terms of how gender roles shape relationship goals, and thus how men and women evaluate life satisfaction differently in the context of relationship with others.

Print ISSN

10795014

E-ISSN

17585368

Publisher Statement

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Full-text Version

Publisher’s Version

Recommended Citation

Cheng, S. T., & Chan, C. M. A. (2006). Relationship with others and life satisfaction in later life: Do gender and widowhood make a difference? Journals of Gerontology. Series B: Psychological Sciences & Social Sciences, 61(1), 46-53.