Successful ageing among low-income older people in South Korea

Soondool Chung, Soo Jung Park

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


The aim of this study was to investigate 'successful ageing' among low income elderly people in the Republic of Korea (South Korea). A sample of men and women aged 65 or more years who received welfare benefits and social welfare services from senior welfare centres and who had good cognition were identified and recruited by the staff of eight such centres in Seoul, the capital city of the country. Face-to-face interviews were conducted with a structured questionnaire using measures and instruments that were selected following a literature review and previous studies of low-income older people. The survey instrument was pre-tested with seven subjects to ensure the comprehensibility of the items, and 220 main interviews were conducted in the respondents' homes and at senior welfare centres during October and November 2006. Factor analysis identified three factors in successful ageing: 'a positive attitude towards life', 'success of adult children', and 'relationships with others'. Men reported higher scores on successful ageing than women. It was concluded that the concept of 'successful ageing' does apply to low-income elderly people in Korean, although its components have little to do with material or social success as conceived by previous studies of the general elderly population in either western or Asian countries.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1061-1074
Number of pages14
JournalAgeing and Society
Issue number8
StatePublished - 2008


  • Community residents
  • Low-income older people
  • South Korea
  • Strengths
  • Successful ageing


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