Ethnic Identity of Older Chinese in Canada

Daniel W. L. Lai*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


In Canada’s multicultural society, ethnic identity is important to the elderly and can influence areas such as access to services, health promotion and care. Often, the complex nature of ethnic identity is underestimated when looking at cultural groups. This study aims to: (a) validate the factor structure of a Chinese ethnic identity measure for older Chinese in Canada, (b) examine the level of ethnic identity of the participants, and (c) examine the correlates of ethnic identity in these older individuals. Using data from a large, national research project on the elderly Chinese in Canada, this study analyzed the results gathered from a total of 2,272 participants. Principal component analysis, maximum-likelihood confirmatory factor analysis, and multiple regression analysis were performed. The results indicated that ethnic identity of the older Chinese is a multi-dimensional construct made up of three factors: (a) culture related activities, (b) community ties, (c) linkage with country of origin, and (d) cultural identification. The findings have provided a better understanding of how ethnic identity can be measured among the aging Chinese population in Canada.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)103–117
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Cross-Cultural Gerontology
Issue number2
Early online date27 Dec 2011
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2012

User-Defined Keywords

  • Chinese elderly
  • Immigrants
  • Ethnic identity


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