Age differences in trust: An investigation across 38 countries

Tianyuan LI, Helene Hoi Lam FUNG

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

42 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Objective. Population aging is a global challenge in the 21st century. As social relationships contribute significantly to older adults’ well-being and trust lays the foundation of constructive social interactions, it is theoretically and practically significant to examine age differences in trust in a worldwide sample. Method. The current study examined age differences in generalized trust and trust toward family members, friends, neighbors, and strangers, using data from the World Value Survey based on 57,497 individuals from 38 countries. Results. Age was positively related to generalized trust and trust toward the four target groups across the 38 countries. Age differences in trust toward friends, neighbors, and strangers were also moderated by contextual factors (i.e., income inequality, developing status, and individualism). Discussion. The results suggest that, across countries, enhancing trust toward others may be one mechanism through which older adults maintain emotional connectedness with others. Future studies are encouraged to investigate the mechanism underlying the age differences in trust. Copyright © The Author 2012.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)347-355
JournalJournals of Gerontology Series B: Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences
Volume68
Issue number3
Early online dateAug 2012
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 2013

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age difference
target group
individualism
family member
well-being
income
interaction
Values

Citation

Li, T., & Fung, H. H. (2013). Age differences in trust: An investigation across 38 countries. Journals of Gerontology Series B: Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences, 68(3), 347-355.

Keywords

  • Age difference
  • Developing status
  • Individualism
  • Inequality
  • Trust