LIFE SATISFACTION OF IMMIGRANT ASIAN INDIAN ELDERLY IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
Kalavar, Jyotsna Mirle
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This study explored life satisfaction among immigrant Asian Indian elderly men and women living in the United States, and examined the influence of selected variables on life satisfaction. Fifty Asian Indian immigrant elderly residents of the Washington metropolitan area who met the criteria for subject selection of (a) born outside the United States, (b) permanently settled in the United States since age fifty, or later (c) presently age sixty or above, (d) permanent residents of the United States since two or more years and (e) English speaking adults, participated in this study. Twenty- five men and twenty-five women, with an age range of 60 - 90 years were interviewed. Socio-demographic data, and information on self-assessed health, finance, living arrangement, transportation, and social interaction were obtained from the devised Interview Schedule. In addition to the indices of Life Satisfaction Index A and B, open-ended questions were used to determine satisfaction with life. Descriptive statistics were reported for all variables investigated. ANOVA procedure was used to test if the independent variables explain variance in life satisfaction. A Pearson correlation coefficient was established and a correlation matrix was constructed. In order to control for health, a multiple regression analysis was performed to determine the significance of other independent variables. The data obtained from open-ended questions was qualitatively analyzed. In this study, older Asian Indian men and women reported moderate levels of life satisfaction. Sex differences in life satisfaction were noted. In general, older men reported higher levels of life satisfaction than older women. Based on the results, it may be concluded that sex, reasons for coming to the United States, living arrangement (type of housing and living relationships), access to transportation, self- assessed health (health rating and present health evaluation), finance, number of friends, and frequency of meeting friends are important in explaining the variance found in life satisfaction. Self- assessed health is a strong predictor of life satisfaction. When controlled for health, other contributors to life satisfaction were reasons for corning to the United States, living arrangement, number of friends, and average meeting with friends.