Date of Award

Summer 8-1-2011

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Gerontology Institute

First Advisor

Heying Jenny Zhan

Second Advisor

Candace Kemp

Third Advisor

Yong Tai Wang


This study explores the association between intergenerational relationships and life satisfaction among urban elders in China, with a focus on the emotional dimension of intergenerational solidarity. Individual factors, effects of associational, affectual, functional and structural solidarity were examined by analyzing data collected from the Zhenjiang City Intergenerational Relationship Survey (ZJIRS) in 2007, Jiangsu province, China.

Study results revealed that elders’ marital status, educational background, pension, and self-rated health were closely related to the degree of intergenerational solidarity. A higher level of education, possession of a medical insurance, and better heath condition had a positive relationship with elders’ life satisfaction. Through the comparison of intergenerational exchanges from both parents and children, the study found that Chinese elders had the highest level of life satisfaction when they receive more frequent contacts, financial support, and affection from their children. This study might contribute to the existing body of literature in the overall theoretic understandings of intergenerational solidarity, life satisfaction, as well as the association between specific dimensions of intergenerational solidarity and older adults’ life satisfaction.


Included in

Sociology Commons