Socioeconomic status and engagement in work, volunteering, and caregiving activities among Chinese older adults in Hong Kong
Jennifer Tang | University of Kong Kong
Objective: This present study aimed to compare the patterns and levels of engagement in productive activities between older adults with different levels of socioeconomic status.
Data: Participants’ socioeconomic status was inferred by their housing (pubic rental or private) and personal income. Productive activities were measured by the types and total number of hours engaged in employment, volunteering, and caregiving activities in the past month.
Methods: This study used a cross-sectional design with quota sampling to ensure adequate number of participants in the age groups of 60-69 years, 70-79 years, and 80 years and older. 310 participants were recruited from various community elderly centres and participated in face-to-face interviews
Results: Participants living in public housing engaged in an average of 47.8 hours of productive activities in the past month, in contrast with 70.6 hours of productive activities performed by participants living in private housing. Participants with higher income were more actively engaged in all types of productive activities. The effect of income on work and volunteering activities remained significant after adjusting for age, gender, education level, marital status, and health condition.
Policy implications: Older adults with higher socioeconomic status were more actively involved in productive activities, especially in work and volunteering. Further exploration is needed to investigate whether under-participation may be due to the lack of information or knowledge about the activity opportunities.