Living Arrangements of Older Adults in China: The Interplay Among Preferences, Realities, and Health
This article uses the Chinese Longitudinal Healthy Longevity Survey to examine the dynamics of living arrangements among the elderly in China. The author explores what factors are related to living arrangement preference. In addition, the author looks at a relatively unexplored measure— “living arrangement concordance”—having a match between preferred and actual living arrangements. This article also examines the relationship between concordance, self-rated health, and activities of daily living disability. Living arrangement concordance is high among community-residing elderly, but older Chinese and minority ethnicity are more likely to prefer coresidence with children, while people with higher socioeconomic status and greater family care resources are more likely to prefer living independently. This study gives evidence for person-environment fit theory—older adults with independent living concordance are more likely to have good self-rated health. Older adults who coreside with children, however, are more likely to be disabled, regardless of concordance status.