Relationship With Others and Life Satisfaction in Later Life: Do Gender and Widowhood Make a Difference?

S.-T. Cheng, A. C. M. Chan
2006 The journals of gerontology. Series B, Psychological sciences and social sciences  
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
more » ... h 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.
doi:10.1093/geronb/61.1.p46 pmid:16399941 fatcat:hzu7pglcgfasdk4xu3cucpezw4