Journal of Cross-Cultural Gerontology

, Volume 29, Issue 2, pp 153–171 | Cite as

Cross-Cultural Comparison of Successful Aging Definitions Between Chinese and Hmong Elders in the United States

  • Annie L. Nguyen
  • David W. Seal


The purpose of the study was to elicit the definitions of successful aging according to Chinese and Hmong elders living in Milwaukee, WI. In-depth semi-structured interviews were conducted with 44 elders (Hmong n = 21 and Chinese n = 23). Findings show some similarities in the Chinese and Hmong elders’ definitions though specific cultural differences exist. Chinese elders emphasized physical health and mobility, mental health, positive attitudes, shedding responsibilities, positive family relationships, financial stability, social engagement, religious faith, and accomplishments and volunteer work. Hmong elders emphasized physical health and mobility, mental health, harmonious relationships, positive family relationships, tangible family support, financial stability, social engagement, and religious faith. Cross-cultural comparisons of the findings highlight the cultural heterogeneity between these two subgroups. Implications for practice are discussed.


Subjective successful aging Chinese American Hmong American Cross-cultural 



This project was supported in part by Grant Number F31AG039232 from the National Institute on Aging. Data presented in this manuscript were collected as part of the primary author’s doctoral dissertation in the Institute for Health and Society, Medical College of Wisconsin. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institute on Aging or the National Institutes of Health.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Family Medicine, Division of Geriatric Medicine and GerontologyUniversity of California- Irvine School of MedicineOrangeUSA
  2. 2.Department of Global Community Health and Behavioral SciencesTulane University School of Public Health and Tropical MedicineNew OrleansUSA

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