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Front. Psychol. | doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2018.02572

Perceived Discrimination and Life Satisfaction of Elderly Chinese People: The Chain Mediating Effects of National Identity and Sense of Community

 Jin Yao1, 2*,  Xiaoxia Han2, Liping Yang1* and YIying Li1
  • 1School of Psychology, Nanjing Normal University, China
  • 2School of Education Science, Huaiyin Normal University, China

In China, aging is becoming an increasingly serious issue, and the Chinese are paying more attention to the life satisfaction of the elderly. Nevertheless, in their daily lives, the elderly in China often perceive discrimination, which may negatively influence their life satisfaction. To enable a better understanding of these relationships, we discuss the factors affecting the macro-system (national identity) and micro-system (sense of community) of the elderly. Three hundred and ninety-one old people (60–101 years old; 121 males, 270 females) from three communities in the Anhui and Shandong provinces of China were took part in our study, each completing adapted versions of a perceived discrimination measure, national identity questionnaire, sense of community questionnaire, and life satisfaction questionnaire. The results of structural equation modeling revealed that perceived discrimination negatively influenced life satisfaction through national identity and community. The total mediation effect was 32.17%. Perceived discrimination was found to negatively predict national identity, suggesting that perceived discrimination brings a negative influence to national identity within Chinese culture, which was at macro-system. The relationship between perceived discrimination and life satisfaction was partially mediated by the chain of national identity and sense of community. The relationship between perceived discrimination and life satisfaction, when mediated by national identity or sense of community, was not significant. This suggests that the rejection–identification model cannot be applied to the Chinese elderly. The limitations of our study and the implications of its results were be consider in discussion.

Keywords: perceived discrimination, national identity,, Sense of community, life satisfaction, Chinese elderly

Received: 13 Jun 2018; Accepted: 30 Nov 2018.

Edited by:

Mika Pantzar, University of Helsinki, Finland

Reviewed by:

Alejandro Magallares, Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia (UNED), Spain
Xia Liu, Beijing Normal University, China  

Copyright: © 2018 Yao, Han, Yang and Li. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence:
PhD. Jin Yao, Nanjing Normal University, School of Psychology, Nanjing, 210097, China, China,
Prof. Liping Yang, Nanjing Normal University, School of Psychology, Nanjing, 210097, China, China,