Contextualizing Productive Aging in Asia
Date : 13 Mar 2017 - 14 Mar 2017
Venue : Asia Research Institute, Seminar Room
AS8, Level 4, 10 Kent Ridge Crescent, Singapore 119260
Download Program and Abstracts

“Productive Aging” emphasizes older adults’ engagement in productive activities, including working, care giving, volunteering or helping in later life. Asian countries (especially in East Asia, Southeast Asia and South Asia) face demographic aging on different scales and at varied speeds. In this conference, we aim to address determinants of productive aging in Asia from a multilevel perspective to understand how communities, families and individual factors can facilitate engagement of older adults in Asia.

Using coresidence as an example to illustrate why family factors matter to older adults, cultural values of older adults living with family in later life are prevalent across Asian countries. However, declining coresidence rates and increasing numbers of golden agers living alone affect the motivation for and engagement in productive activities by older adults. Other family factors that also have an influence include intergenerational support to older parents, proximity between parents and children, and adult children’s need of childcare. More studies are needed to research family factors in relation to productive aging in Asia.

Older adults generally spend more time in their residential communities than do younger adults, who go to jobs every day. Studies based on Western countries show that older adults in disadvantaged communities have difficulty being socially connected. It is because community contexts not only include infrastructure, facilities and space that help generate productive activities, but is also related to residential composition and social welfare resources that enhance older adults’ motivation and sense of participation. It is important to investigate the impacts of community contexts on productive engagement in Asia.

Many Asian countries have had reforms in pension, long-term care and health care. Incentives related to productive aging are also implemented in developed countries. These differences in policies and institutional support across Asian countries indirectly influence the rates and intensity of engagement in productive activities across countries.

The two-day conference is a showcase of the diversity of productive engagement in later life across East Asian, Southeast Asian and South Asian countries. The selected empirical papers will analyse the determinants of old-age employment, volunteering, and care giving as well as lifelong education attendance. More importantly, we hope to disentangle socio-structural, cultural and institutional settings behind productive aging through direct and indirect comparative perspectives. 


Admission is free, and seats are available on a first come, first served basis. We would greatly appreciate if you click on the "Register" button above to RSVP.


Dr Pei-Chun KO
Asia Research Institute, and Centre for Family and Population Research
National University of Singapore
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Prof Wei-Jun Jean YEUNG
Asia Research Institute, Centre for Family and Population Research, and the Department of Sociology
National University of Singapore
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Contact Person(s)
Valerie YEO