Differences in the Living Arrangements of the Elderly in Four Asian Countries: The Interplay of Constraints and Preferences

Publication Abstract

Casterline, John B., Albert Hermalin, Ming-cheng Chang, Napaporn Chayovan, Paul Cheung, John E. Knodel, Mary Beth Ofstedal, Lindy Williams, an, et al. 1991. "Differences in the Living Arrangements of the Elderly in Four Asian Countries: The Interplay of Constraints and Preferences." Elderly in Asia Report No. 91-10. 3 1991.

This research examines correlates of the living arrangements of the elderly in four Asian countries: the Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, and Thailand. Its major objective is to assess the extent to which elderly individuals now live alone, live only with their spouse, or live with at least one of their children. The primary sources of data for the analysis are household-level surveys of the elderly (defined as ages 60 and over) in the four countries. The surveys in the Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand were carried out as a project of the ASEAN Population Programme, and the survey in Taiwan was conducted by the Taiwan Provincial Institute, in collaboration with the PSC. The study examines the relationship between living arrangements and five demographic characteristics of the elderly: sex, age, number of living sons, number of living daughters, and marital status. Three indicators of living arrangements are analyzed: living alone; living with spouse only; and living with children. With only a few exceptions, each of the five demographic variables shows effects on each of the three indicators of living arrangements.

The exceptions are:

(1) sex of the elderly does not affect the likelihood of living with a spouse only or of living with a child, once the life-couse stage of the children is controlled;

(2) age is less strongly related to the likelihood of living alone than to the other two dependent variables, but in all cases the age effect is also weakened tremendously when the age of youngest child is controlled;

(3) marital status is unrelated to the likelihood of living alone;

(4) age of the youngest child is unrelated to the likelihood of living alone.

Dataset(s): ASEAN Survey of the Elderly: Philippines, 1984. ASEAN Survey of the Elderly: Singapore, 1986. ASEAN Survey of the Elderly (SECAPT): Thailand, 1986. Survey of Health and Living Status of the Elderly: Taiwan, 1989.

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