alexa Old age in sociocultural context: China and the United States.
Psychiatry

Psychiatry

Journal of Psychology & Psychotherapy

Author(s): Streib GF, Streib GF, Streib GF, Streib GF

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Abstract With the increasing interest in comparative studies of the elderly, China has become the focus of research attention. This society, which has been inaccessible to most Western researchers, offers a special site for studies of aging because of its sheer size as a world power, its relationship to Third World countries, and its population problem-a growing segment of elderly people. Available data from a variety of social science sources are utilized to compare how the sociocultural context of China and the United States impact differentially upon the older population in each society. Three major determinants specify the theoretical context: economic development (the level of production an economic system achieves); traditional cultural patterns (norms, roles, relationships); and the social control mechanisms (regulatory processes based upon the legal and sanctioning systems). These determinants provide a theoretical orientation for analyzing the outcome variables involved in the behavior and adaptation of the old. In American society, cultural norms and values are advantageous for active older persons in good health, particularly those with a favorable economic situation. In contemporary Chinese society, which blends traditional customs with the values of a revolutionary and changing society, there are advantages for the frail elderly. Copyright © 1987. Published by Elsevier Inc. This article was published in J Aging Stud and referenced in Journal of Psychology & Psychotherapy

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