1st Edition

Productive Engagement in Later Life A Global Perspective

Edited By Nancy Morrow-Howell, Ada Mui Copyright 2012

    Productive Ageing is the involvement of older adults in society through employment, volunteering, caregiving, education and skill building. In 2020 there will be 248 million people in China aged 60 and over. At the same time, the birth rate continues to drop and family structures are being transformed. In the face of such pressing demographic challenges, the productive engagement of older adults is a clear-cut strategy to strengthen families and communities while simultaneously promoting the health of older adults. From a human capital perspective, an ageing population represents resources to address societal needs; and the active engagement of older adults can enhance and maintain the physical, mental and cognitive health of the older adults. The challenge is to develop policies that support productive engagement and implement evidence-based programs that create opportunities for older adults in active engagement in the community. Contributions of older adults will be necessary for social and economic development of families, communities, and society. Productive Engagement in Later Life covers the 2009 China conference on productive aging and discusses how to initiate and build productive aging agenda in China and around the globe.

    This book was originally published as a special issue of China Journal of Social Work.

    Foreword: Productive ageing is likely to become a major policy discussion in China
    Michael Sherraden, Washington University in St. Louis, USA; The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, China

    Introduction: Cross-cultural, multidisciplinary perspectives on maximizing productive engagement of the ageing population Nancy Morrow-Howell, Washington University in St. Louis, USA and Ada C. Mui, Columbia University, USA

    Part I: Overview of the concept of productive ageing in China

    1. Productive ageing in China: a human capital perspective Ada C. Mui, Columbia University, USA; National Taiwan University, Taiwan

    2. What is productive in Taiwanese centenarians’ lives? A challenge for the definition of productive ageing Peishan Yang, National Taiwan University, Taiwan

    Part II: Country-level consideration of productive engagement of older adults

    3. China’s population ageing and active ageing Peng Du, Renmin University of China, China and Hui Yang, All China Women’s Federation, China

    4. Productive engagement of older Americans Nancy Morrow-Howell and Jennifer C. Greenfield, Washington University in St. Louis, USA 

    5. Productive ageing in Japan Li-Mei Chen Uesugi, Kwansei Gakuin University, Japan

    6. Dominant and competing framings of the productive ageing agenda in the Australian policy context Elizabeth Ozanne, The University of Melbourne, Australia

    Part III: Consideration of productive activities in various countries

    a. Caregiving

    7. Survey and reflection on the current situation of older caregivers in Jinan Qun Liu and Wen-Guang Ke, Shandong Jianzhu University, China

    8. Critical review of older adults’ caregiving-related programs and policies in South Korea Song-Lee Hong, National University of Singapore, Singapore and Ene-Young Park, Yonsei University in Korea, South Korea

    9. Older adults as caregivers in Hong Kong Teresa B.K. Tsien and Guat Tin Ng, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, China

    b. Working

    10. Workforce participation among older adults in China: current knowledge and future research directions Rita Jing-Ann Chou, University of South Carolina, USA

    11. Population ageing in a globalizing labour market: implications for older workers Brad Jorgensen, Queensland University of Technology, Australia, Philip Taylor and Erin Watson, Monash University, Australia

    c. Volunteering

    12. Senior volunteer service in urban communities: a study in Jinan Qin Li, Shandong University, China

    13. Volunteering by older adults in the United States Fengyuan Tang, University of Pittsburgh, USA

    14. Volunteering as a productive ageing activity: evidence from Australia Jeni Warburton, La Trobe University, Australia

    15. Promoting volunteerism in later life in Hong Kong Alice Ming-lin Chong, City University of Hong Kong, China


    Dr. Nancy Morrow-Howell is Ralph and Muriel Pumphrey Professor of Social Work at Washington University in St. Louis, USA. She is a national leader in gerontology, widely known for her work on productive and civic engagement of older adults. Dr. Morrow-Howell is a fellow of the Gerontological Society of America, chair-elect of the SRPP section of GSA, and a member of GSA’s Expert Workgroup on Civic Engagement in an Older America. She is on the Editorial Board of both The Gerontologist and the Journals of Gerontology: Social Sciences.

    Dr. Ada C. Mui is a Professor of Social Work at the Columbia University School of Social Work, USA. She has been recognized as one of the leading social gerontologists in cross-cultural research. She is a Fellow of the Gerontological Society of America and an Honorary Professor at Beijing Normal University, Beijing Youth Politics College, and the University of Hong Kong, China. In Taiwan, she is a Research Fellow at the Social Policy Research Center at the National Taiwan University.