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Childhood adversity and healthy ageing: a study of the Chinese older population

Hu, Bo (2021) Childhood adversity and healthy ageing: a study of the Chinese older population. European Journal of Ageing, 18 (4). 523 - 535. ISSN 1613-9372

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Identification Number: 10.1007/s10433-021-00608-8


This study examines the relationship between childhood adversities and healthy ageing in the Chinese older population. The data come from the China Health and Retirement Longitudinal Survey (CHARLS), a national survey that collected life history and ageing-related information on 9,248 older people aged over 60 in 2014 and 2015. The analysis of healthy ageing focuses on seven indicators: IADL limitations, ADL limitations, cognitive functioning, depressive symptoms, life satisfaction, self-reported health, and chronic illness. Using k-means clustering, an unsupervised learning technique, we identified four qualitatively different groups according to their achievement in healthy ageing. We studied 17 types of childhood adversities and found that experiencing multiple childhood adversities is associated with a lower probability of achieving healthy ageing. This relationship is moderated by age and gender. Women are more vulnerable than men to the negative impacts of childhood adversities. The threat of childhood adversities to healthy ageing is greatly attenuated among people aged over 80. We argue that the policy response to healthy ageing should not be confined to those services and programmes that directly target older people. Instead, healthy ageing can be better addressed by concerted efforts in different areas of social policy.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2021 The Author
Divisions: Personal Social Services Research Unit
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Woman
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine
Date Deposited: 16 Feb 2021 13:00
Last Modified: 23 May 2024 19:39

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