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postgraduate thesis: What do Hong Kong middle-aged women want?: a qualitative study of their perspectives on old age

TitleWhat do Hong Kong middle-aged women want?: a qualitative study of their perspectives on old age
Authors
Advisors
Advisor(s):Chow, NWS
Issue Date2013
PublisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)
Citation
Moore, Y. C. [馬燕珊]. (2013). What do Hong Kong middle-aged women want? : a qualitative study of their perspectives on old age. (Thesis). University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.5353/th_b5016264
AbstractIn Hong Kong, the population of older adults aged 65 and above is expected to nearly double by the beginning of the 2030s, which will then represent just over a quarter of the population. A local study found that many people in Hong Kong had given very little thought to plans for retirement and old age, including aspects of financial, health, social, and living arrangements (Lee & Law, 2004). Many similar retirement studies can be found in the West, primarily using a quantitative inquiry framework. The number of qualitative inquiries on aging issues has steadily increased over the last decade. Results from previous studies showed similar patterns, i.e. low levels of planning activities for retirement and old age across all social classes. However, none of the studies explored beyond the correlations and associations among variables. This study aims to add to the body of knowledge in the field of aging by employing life course perspectives with a qualitative approach through examining whether situational and contextual factors do in fact affect individuals’ old age readiness. There are two core objectives of this study. The first objective is to investigate whether and how life experiences from significant events or transitions influence important decisions in life, in this case, the planning for retirement and old age among the target population of mid-aged women from middle and working class backgrounds in Hong Kong. The second objective is to explore relationships and the degree of significance between Chinese traditional belief systems and the level of retirement preparedness amidst high volatility in global financial markets and the development of old age friendly welfare and policies in Hong Kong. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with a purposive sample of 34 women between the ages of 45 and 59. Results connote that most of these women witnessed the growth of economic development in Hong Kong; unfortunately they have not accumulated enough physical resources to prepare for retirement or old age after its growth plateaued and has been stumbling since the late 1990s. Their social network system is very limited and in many cases also fragile. Minimal preventive health measures are being taken except for addressing pre-existing physical and mental health issues. Living arrangements is the area least planned for, including those women who are public rental housing tenants. The interviewed women hold the same Chinese traditional value that they are hoping to receive family support during old age. Nonetheless, they also feel vulnerable because their adult children are struggling to make ends meet as well. Public cash assistances are these women’s last resort if their children cannot afford to provide support due to economic difficulties or after depletion of their own funds from MPF, personal savings and investments. This group of women is likely to actively utilize the public healthcare system, community programs, and long-term care facilities in the near future. Implications of the study include social work practices and public policies that will support the potential needs of the forthcoming wave of the old age population.
DegreeDoctor of Philosophy
SubjectRetirement - Planning - China - Hong Kong.
Middle-aged women - China - Hong Kong.
Dept/ProgramSocial Work and Social Administration

 

DC FieldValueLanguage
dc.contributor.advisorChow, NWS-
dc.contributor.authorMoore, Yin-shan, Chris.-
dc.contributor.author馬燕珊.-
dc.date.issued2013-
dc.identifier.citationMoore, Y. C. [馬燕珊]. (2013). What do Hong Kong middle-aged women want? : a qualitative study of their perspectives on old age. (Thesis). University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.5353/th_b5016264-
dc.description.abstractIn Hong Kong, the population of older adults aged 65 and above is expected to nearly double by the beginning of the 2030s, which will then represent just over a quarter of the population. A local study found that many people in Hong Kong had given very little thought to plans for retirement and old age, including aspects of financial, health, social, and living arrangements (Lee & Law, 2004). Many similar retirement studies can be found in the West, primarily using a quantitative inquiry framework. The number of qualitative inquiries on aging issues has steadily increased over the last decade. Results from previous studies showed similar patterns, i.e. low levels of planning activities for retirement and old age across all social classes. However, none of the studies explored beyond the correlations and associations among variables. This study aims to add to the body of knowledge in the field of aging by employing life course perspectives with a qualitative approach through examining whether situational and contextual factors do in fact affect individuals’ old age readiness. There are two core objectives of this study. The first objective is to investigate whether and how life experiences from significant events or transitions influence important decisions in life, in this case, the planning for retirement and old age among the target population of mid-aged women from middle and working class backgrounds in Hong Kong. The second objective is to explore relationships and the degree of significance between Chinese traditional belief systems and the level of retirement preparedness amidst high volatility in global financial markets and the development of old age friendly welfare and policies in Hong Kong. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with a purposive sample of 34 women between the ages of 45 and 59. Results connote that most of these women witnessed the growth of economic development in Hong Kong; unfortunately they have not accumulated enough physical resources to prepare for retirement or old age after its growth plateaued and has been stumbling since the late 1990s. Their social network system is very limited and in many cases also fragile. Minimal preventive health measures are being taken except for addressing pre-existing physical and mental health issues. Living arrangements is the area least planned for, including those women who are public rental housing tenants. The interviewed women hold the same Chinese traditional value that they are hoping to receive family support during old age. Nonetheless, they also feel vulnerable because their adult children are struggling to make ends meet as well. Public cash assistances are these women’s last resort if their children cannot afford to provide support due to economic difficulties or after depletion of their own funds from MPF, personal savings and investments. This group of women is likely to actively utilize the public healthcare system, community programs, and long-term care facilities in the near future. Implications of the study include social work practices and public policies that will support the potential needs of the forthcoming wave of the old age population.-
dc.languageeng-
dc.publisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)-
dc.relation.ispartofHKU Theses Online (HKUTO)-
dc.rightsThe author retains all proprietary rights, (such as patent rights) and the right to use in future works.-
dc.rightsCreative Commons: Attribution 3.0 Hong Kong License-
dc.source.urihttp://hub.hku.hk/bib/B50162640-
dc.subject.lcshRetirement - Planning - China - Hong Kong.-
dc.subject.lcshMiddle-aged women - China - Hong Kong.-
dc.titleWhat do Hong Kong middle-aged women want?: a qualitative study of their perspectives on old age-
dc.typePG_Thesis-
dc.identifier.hkulb5016264-
dc.description.thesisnameDoctor of Philosophy-
dc.description.thesislevelDoctoral-
dc.description.thesisdisciplineSocial Work and Social Administration-
dc.description.naturepublished_or_final_version-
dc.identifier.doi10.5353/th_b5016264-
dc.date.hkucongregation2013-

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