Cellphone Use and Happiness Among Older Chinese Adults: Does Urban/Rural Residence Status Matter?

Monday, 16 July 2018: 18:15
Oral Presentation
Xiangnan CHAI, Western University, Canada
Hina KALYAL, Western University, Canada
The number of older adults who use cellphones is increasing in both urban and rural China. Existing studies have indicated that the use of information and communication technology is associated with higher levels of happiness among older adults in Western societies. However, the role of such technology, particularly the impact of cellphone use on happiness and well-being of older adults has not been explored in China. To fill the gap in the literature, we use the 2010 China Family Panel Studies, a nationally representative data set. We employ logistic regression model and explore the relationship between cellphone use and self-reported happiness among the older Chinese population. We also examine whether the association differ for urban and rural residents. Results show that cellphone use is associated with seniors’ self-reported happiness level (OR=1.283; p < 0.001). When an interaction term between cellphone use and residence status was included, results indicate that rural older adults felt happier when they had used own cellphones compared to their urban counterparts (OR=1.616; p < 0.001). For the rural senior population, cellphone use could improve the likelihood of feeling happy by a significant margin (10.2%; p < 0.001). Findings indicate that the positive relationship between cellphone use and happiness is stronger for rural adults than their urban counterparts.