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Open AccessArticle

Nothing Like Living with a Family: A Qualitative Study of Subjective Well-Being and its Determinants among Migrant and Local Elderly in Dongguan, China

1
School of Humanities and Management, Guangdong Medical University, Songshan Lake District, Dongguan 523808, China
2
Epidemiology Unit, Faculty of Medicine, Prince of Songkla University, Hat Yai, Songkhla 90110, Thailand
3
Department of Family and Preventive Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Prince of Songkla University, Hat Yai, Songkhla 90110, Thailand
4
Research Center for Quality of Life and Applied Psychology, Guangdong Medical University, Songshan Lake District, Dongguan 523808, China
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(23), 4874; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16234874
Received: 20 September 2019 / Revised: 25 November 2019 / Accepted: 27 November 2019 / Published: 3 December 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Health and Wellbeing of Migrant Populations)
Chinese economic development has led to a significant rise in internal migration over the last 20 years, including large numbers of elderly. When elderly Chinese people migrate, they still register their residency to their place of origin and often do not register with the new administrative office at the destination due to the household registration (hukou) system in China. Thus, most of these migrant elderly do not receive full social services, possibly leading to poor subjective well-being. This study aims to qualitatively examine the level of subjective well-being and its determinants among migrants and local elderly in Dongguan City of Guangdong province, one of the most rapid economically developing areas in China. We also present the results of in-depth interviews among 27 elderly, 15 elderly migrants and 12 local elderly living in Dongguan. The results reveal that the overall subjective well-being of the two groups were good. Most migrants believed their well-being had remained stable or even improved over time due to family reunion and a better physical environment. Elderly’s most valuable needs and the main reason of migration is family reunion; however, inadequacy of social support, including community support and government support (e.g., gift during holiday season, free health examination, healthcare expenditure reimbursement), cannot be neglected for maintaining a good level of well-being. The well-being of migrant elderly can be further enhanced by promoting social services and welfare, recreational activities, and enhancing healthcare reimbursement in their new home. View Full-Text
Keywords: subjective well-being; elderly migrants; local elderly; urbanization subjective well-being; elderly migrants; local elderly; urbanization
MDPI and ACS Style

Liu, Y.; Sangthong, R.; Ingviya, T.; Wan, C. Nothing Like Living with a Family: A Qualitative Study of Subjective Well-Being and its Determinants among Migrant and Local Elderly in Dongguan, China. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16, 4874.

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