Age Differences in Worries about Aging Among East Asian Countries

  • 鄭 翔如

Student thesis: Master's Thesis


Aging may intensify worries about the future according to personal experience and social stereotypes. The elderly population may be up to two billion on 2025 and this global aging phenomenon will bring a lot of challenges from the individual to social level. More and more people worried about the future when their getting old. Worries about aging occurred not only in elderly but also in younger adults. In previous studies, different genders and ages showed different concerns. Cross-national differences were found, but not completely. Factors related to worries about aging were still not clear enough and how to realize this issue is important.

In this study, we tried to examine the variables related to worries about aging and that in different ages and genders in the Eastern Asia. To recognize the worries about aging will be useful in identifying senior needs and will help determine policies on the aging society.

This study was a cross-sectional study. For the individual level, data was drawn from the subjective dataset of the East Asian Social Survey (EASS) collected from 2010 to 2012. Analyses of variance will be used to compare the three generations (young: 20-40 years old, middle: 41-64 years old, and old: ≧ 65 years old). In order to identify the predictors of worry about ageing, regression analyses were performed.

In this study, there were 3802 participants in China (mean age of 47.61 years old) and 2134 participants in Taiwan (mean age of 47.63 years old), 2496 participants in Japan (mean age of 53.70 years old) and 1526 participants in South Korea (mean age of 45.90 years old). We divided these participants to three age groups: young (20-40 years old), middle (21-64 years old), and old (≧ 65 years old) in every country.
Comparison to four countries, score of worries about aging was the highest in Japan (mean=3.72). Among four countries, different worries about aging score were different in different age groups. In Japan, though young age group had the highest worries score (mean=3.76), there were no significance worries about aging in different ages. In Taiwan, young and middle age group had higher worries about aging than elderly (young age mean=3.46, middle age mean=3.35, old age mean=2.08). In South Korea, old age group had the highest worries about aging (mean=3.42) than young and middle age group. In China, the worries about aging score was higher in middle age group (mean=3.50) than in young age group (mean=3.30).
Among four countries, women all had higher worries about aging than men. In Japan and China, the old age group ≧ 65 years was younger elderly had more worries about aging. But older younger with more worries about aging occurred in 20-40 years old group in China. More worries about aging occurred in less number of children per family in 41-64 years old group in Japan and China. In all countries, higher self-reported physical and mental health showed less worries about aging in different age groups.
Education was a significant factor in South Korea, Taiwan, and China. Marital status was a significant factor in Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan. The number of children per family was an only significant factor in Japan and China. Urbanization and accessibility to life necessities were not significant factors in every country. Besides, Life expectancy, LG GDP, health expenditure, governance, social capital, and health were the highest in Japan than other countries.

The elderly was not absolute the group having the highest worries about aging in East Asia societies, which related to multiple factors. Overall, it showed that less worries about aging was related to better self-health identification. To establish a holistic health promotion system for seniors with the services they need will be a pressing and correct direction in an aging society.
Date of Award2017
Original languageEnglish
SupervisorHui-Ching Weng (Supervisor)

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