Analysis on the influencing factors of remarriage attitudes of the elderly in China

ZHANG Xianling1 TAO Tao2

(1.School of Sociology and Psychology, Central University of Finance and Economics, Beijing, China 100081)
(2.Population Development Studies Center, Renmin University of China, Beijing, China 100872)

【Abstract】By using the 2016 CLASS data,this study investigates the attitude of the elderly towards remarriage in China, and focuses on the impacts of economic conditions and intergenerational relationship. The results show that the attitude of the elderly to remarriage in China is relatively negative as a whole, with less than one-third of them in favor of it, and shows strong heterogeneity. The attitude of the young, urban and healthy elderly is more positive. Using the number of houses and economic independence of other family members as measurement of economic conditions of the elderly, this study explores the impacts of economic factors on the remarriage attitude of old people with descriptive analysis and Logistic regression model. The findings suggest that the elderly with better economic conditions present a higher proportion in favor of remarriage, and the old people who are economically independent of their family members show much more positive attitude to remarriage. The effects of economic factors on remarriage attitude of the elderly show significant gender difference, which mainly exists among the poor elderly, and old women lacking economic resources have the lowest proportion in favor of remarriage. In addition, this paper examines the influence of intergenerational relationship on remarriage attitudes of the elderly. The results suggest that the elderly without alive children show the highest percentage in favor of marriage. The number of alive adult children is negatively associated with the elderly’s attitude towards remarriage, which is statistically significant. The proportion in favor of remarriage of the elderly having close children is significantly lower than that of those without close children, decreasing by 32.5%. The sex structure of children affects the elderly’s attitude to remarriage as well, the elderly only having alive sons show the highest proportion in favor of remarriage, those only with alive daughters are lower, and those with both alive sons and daughters are the lowest. Furthermore, the paper also finds that active social participation, usage of smart phones, well-prepared elderly care plan, and modern concepts of elderly care all positively affect the elderly’s attitudes towards remarriage.

【Keywords】 remarriage of the elderly; economic conditions; intergenerational relationship; gender difference;


【Funds】 National Natural Science Foundation of China (71490731) the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities in Renmin University of China in 2018

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(Translated by YU He)


    [1]. ① The attitude of the elderly towards remarriage mentioned here and later refers to the attitude of the elderly who were interviewed towards the remarriage of the elderly group or in old age, rather than the general attitude towards remarriage of various groups. [^Back]


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This Article


CN: 22-1017/C

Vol 41, No. 06, Pages 19-29

November 2019


Article Outline


  • 1 Research background
  • 2 Data sources and methods
  • 3 Data results and analysis
  • 4 Conclusion and discussion
  • Footnote