Trajectory of Functional Limitations among Chinese Older People: The Effects of Socioeconomic and Demographic Status

Hanyao Qiu, University of Florida

China has the largest number of elderly people in the world. So far, the number of studies on functional limitations conducted in Chinese context is still limited, especially using longitudinal design. Using four-wave datas of Chinese Health and Nutrition Survey, this study examined how socioeconomic and demographic statuses contribute to disparities in levels of functional limitations and more importantly, disparities in trajectory of functional limitations over time. Guided by cumulative disadvantage perspective, the author found that patterns of inequality of functional limitations are different for ADL than for IADL. For ADL, discrepancy of functional-limitation levels and development of functional limitations are only observed for different gender groups with females being disadvantaged. Having a lifelong job is only related to mean level of ADL. For IADL, gender, having a lifelong job and household income all contribute to the disparity level as well as increasing disparity gaps.

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Presented in Poster Session 3