Older adults' trait ratings of three age-groups around the Pacific rim

James T Harwood, Howard Giles, Robert M. Mccann, Deb Cai, Lilnabeth P. Somera, Sik Hung Ng, Cynthia Gallois, Kimberly Noels

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

48 Scopus citations


In this paper, we assess the traits that older adults associate with younger, middle-aged, and older adults in five Pacific Rim nations from Western and Eastern cultural traditions (Australia, People's Republic of China (PRC), Hong Kong, Philippines, Thailand). We find cross-cultural trends which replicate patterns found in the US context. In most cultures, attractiveness, strength, activity, liberalism, health, and flexibility are seen to decline with increasing age. Kindness assessments are positively associated with age across cultures. Mixed patterns are found with assessments of wisdom and generosity, with respondents from the PRC and Hong Kong being notably more negative about increasing age than other respondents. Implications for the aging process across cultures are discussed, and suggestions made for future research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)157-171
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Cross-Cultural Gerontology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes



  • Age stereotypes
  • Cross-cultural
  • Older adults
  • Pacific Rim

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

Cite this

Harwood, J. T., Giles, H., Mccann, R. M., Cai, D., Somera, L. P., Ng, S. H., ... Noels, K. (2001). Older adults' trait ratings of three age-groups around the Pacific rim. Journal of Cross-Cultural Gerontology, 16(2), 157-171.