Description: One of the major issues concerning old age security is the adequacy of support systems for the aged population. Population aging and economic development in the People's Republic of China have raised the question about the ability of the family to take care of the elderly. Using the latest data collected by the Research Center on Aging in China of a national representative sample of the aged population, this study develops a model to examine the effectiveness of family support for the elderly during the current socio-economic transition of the society. The model also examines the adequacy and effectiveness of state welfare systems on the aged population and the effect of select socio-demographic factors on the well-being of the elderly in China. The investigation into the social, economic, and health aspects of the life of the elderly provides the background knowledge for understanding the support systems for the elderly in China. The multivariate analyses of the effects of the elderly support systems within the framework of shared functions of the primary groups, and the bureaucracy in achieving social goals, identify the important effects of the economic conditions of the family and the state income maintenance programs on the sense of well-being of the elderly. The findings lead to the conclusion that the cooperation of the family and the state is necessary to provide a secure life for an aged population. The patterns and trends of old age support in China are found to be constrained by the interplay of various social forces, among which the effect of politicalization of the social and economic conditions of the elderly is crucial. Policy recommendations include public assistance to the family, encouragement of the local effort, and national legislation on old age security.
Date: August 1996
Creator: Pei, Xiaomei