The Sense of Well-being of Elderly Women in a Medium-size Japanese City

Masao Nobe

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1 Citation (Scopus)


The purpose of this paper is to explore factors which affect the subjective well-being of elderly women. To gather the empirical evidence, a sample survey of elderly women, who were between 60 and 79 years of age, was conducted in 1995 in Okayama City, Japan. In the study, data from 277 respondents without missing observations were analysed. Analysis of the data has revealed the following; (1) The healthier elderly women were, the happier they felt. Moreover, the greater the number of close immediate family or friendship relationships elderly women had, the happier they were. Among the factors identified, physical health had the strongest influence upon the sense of happiness. (2) The greater the number of the close family relationships elderly women had, the happier they tended to be. This may be because elderly women feel secure by living with close family members. (3) Elderly women who were members of such voluntary groups, such as religious groups or recreational groups, were happier than those who were not members of such groups. It is inferred from this that the number of friendship relationships affected the elderly women's sense of happiness, because group activities increased the number of friends. (4) It was hypothesised that, for elderly women without a husband, there was a stronger positive correlation between the number of relationships they had outside the home and their sense of personal happiness than the case for elderly women with a husband. However, the study does not provide evidence for this hypothesis. Neither does the evidence support the finding of Professor Koyano (1992) that women with a husband feel less happy than those without a husband.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)121-123
Number of pages3
JournalSociological Theory and Methods
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 1999


  • Elderly women
  • Group participation
  • Subjective well-being

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Sociology and Political Science


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