Is trusting others related to better health? An investigation of older adults across six non-western countries

King Chung Derwin CHAN, Takeshi HAMAMURA, Man Wai LI, Xin ZHANG

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5 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Generalized trust reflects whether individuals extend their trust to others in general and is important to health and well-being. This study examined the predictive effect of generalized trust on health, happiness, life satisfaction, health behaviors, and illnesses among older adults residing in six non-Western countries. We utilized a recent multinational dataset collected by the World Health Organization that included measures of generalized trust, health, happiness, life satisfaction, health behaviors (physical activity, diet), health-compromising behaviors (sedentary behavior, cigarette, and alcohol consumption), and illnesses (e.g., angina, arthritis, asthma, cataracts, depression, hypertension, and lung disease) among adults aged 50 and older. The sample comprised a total of 35,329 adults (M age = 63.54) from China, Ghana, India, Mexico, South Africa, and Russia. An index of the development of these countries was also entered into the analyses. Hierarchical multiple regression showed that generalized trust was a significant and positive predictor of self-rated health, happiness, life satisfaction, and quality of life, and a negative predictor of illness (i.e., angina, arthritis, asthma, cataracts, diabetes, depression, hypertension, and stroke) and sedentary behavior. The associations were stronger for countries with a higher Human Development Index (HDI) than those with a low HDI. While the findings from this first multinational investigation of non-Western developing countries are consistent with the results of previous studies in Western developed countries, they also underscore their cross-societal variability. Copyright © 2017 The Author(s).
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1288-1301
JournalJournal of Cross-Cultural Psychology
Volume48
Issue number8
Early online dateAug 2017
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2017

Citation

Chan, D., Hamamura, T., Li, L. M. W., & Zhang, X. (2017). Is trusting others related to better health? An investigation of older adults across six non-western countries. Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, 48(8), 1288-1301. doi: 10.1177/0022022117722632

Keywords

  • Health/behavioral medicine
  • Interpersonal relationships
  • Culture

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