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A Comparative Appraisal of Quality of Life (QOL) of Aged Living with Sons and Living with Daughters

01 Apr 2009-The Anthropologist (Kamla Raj Enterprises)-Vol. 11, Iss: 2, pp 139-146

TL;DR: It was found that the aged living with sons had better Quality of Life and the aged were found to have lower QOL for the other support system i.e. “Living with daughters”.

AbstractThe present study was undertaken during 2006 for a comparative appraisal of quality of life of aged (65 years and above) living under two support systems, i.e. living with sons and living with daug...

Summary (3 min read)

INTRODUCTION

  • Across the world, countries are experiencing population ageing.
  • Many face isolation and lack the resources for a better quality of life.
  • After all, the last stage of life holds as much potential for growth and development as earlier stages.
  • As the ageing of population is becoming more and more pronounced, the concern for the quality of life and well- being of the older people is also growing in both developing and developed countries.

RESULTS AND DISCUSSION

  • Background Information of the Aged across Two Support Systems Table 1 shows the distribution of aged males across two support systems with reference to age, socio-economic status, education, marital status, living arrangement (with or without spouse) and number of children.
  • Majority (68%) of the male respondents in this study were in the age group of 65 -77 years, with only few (8%) being above 89 years of Also, the studies conducted in Delhi and Lucknow showed that majority of the elderly living with their sons was partially or wholly dependent upon them (Delhi School of Social Work 1977; Soodan 1982).
  • In view of the foregoing, it was considered logical to direct investigations towards a comparative appraisal of quality of life of the aged living under two support systems i.e.
  • “Living with sons” and “Living with daughters”.

MATERIALS AND METHODS

  • The present study was undertaken to assess the Quality of Life of the aged (65 years and above) living under two support systems, i.e. Living with sons and Living with daughters.
  • The sample drawn from each support system was further subdivided into two socio-economic groups namely Middle SocioEconomic Group (MSEG) and Lower Socio-Economic Group (LSEG).
  • Those “Living with daughters”, only 21 per cent were graduates and post-grad- uates and majority of them were under-matric (32%) and matric (28%).
  • It was observed that majority (46%) of the married (both spouses alive) females lived with sons followed by 34 per cent living with their daughters.
  • The increasing proportion of older female population is also an important aspect of the public policy as the mortality rates are usually higher among men than women.

The Three Domains of Quality of Life (QOL)

  • The three domains of Quality of Life (QOL), as shown in Table 3, include the Positive, Borderline and Negative domains of Quality of life.
  • Positive domain covered a major share of respondents in the support system “Living with sons”, i.e. 56 per cent whereas only 33 per cent from other support system were seen in this domain.
  • “Positive domain” implied good Quality of Life (QOL) at the present time and, thus ought to be sustained and enhanced.
  • The second domain i.e., “Borderline domain” refers to the vulnerable category of Quality of Life (QOL), which calls for an action plan to enhance the Quality of Life (QOL).
  • “Negative”the third domain points towards the problem areas that need to be addressed.

Proportion of Respondents in the different Domains of Quality of Life (QOL) Across Selected Support Systems

  • It is observed from the data presented in Table 3 that the support system comprising ‘Living with the sons’ had high percentage of the aged falling in the positive domain of Quality of Life (QOL) i.e., 56 per cent.
  • In other words, they were leading Very Good to Acceptable QOL.
  • A very high proportion of the aged in the negative domain were those ‘Living with their daughters’ (33%).
  • Community Belonging, Leisure Becoming and Growth Becoming were identified as the vulnerable dimensions in both the support systems which need to be upgraded to improve the QOL scores of the aged.
  • These results are inline with the study by Aggarwal (2004) which, states that utilization of senior citizen’s potentials to the utmost is essential for making them lead a respectful and satisfactory life along with economic security, old age planning, participation in work, selfless social service and spiritual outlook towards life with optimistic thinking.

Comparative Picture of the Two Support Systems by Levels of Quality Of Life (QOL)

  • From the above observations it could be concluded that the Positive Quality of Life was being strongly experienced by 56 per cent of the aged ‘Living with their sons’ whereas the Negative Quality of Life (QOL) was observed in higher proportion in the aged ‘Living with their daughters’ (33%).
  • This reveals the existing mind-set and the inhibitions of the elderly persons to reside with their daughters except under unavoidable circumstances when they were left with no other option.
  • The study showed that an overwhelming number of the aged lived with their sons.
  • There were very few who decided to live with their daughters.
  • In the same study, it was pointed out that majority of old women were dissatisfied with the care and service they got (as compared to their male counterparts).

Comparative Analysis of Quality of Life (QOL) of Aged Across Different Support Systems

  • The data presented in Table 4 depicts the mean scores for the Quality of Life (QOL) across the two support systems.
  • The higher mean scores were obtained for the aged “Living with their sons” (0.663).
  • But for the aged “Living with their daughters”, a very low mean score i.e. 0.062 was obtained.
  • Thus, it could be inferred from this study that “Living with sons” was the most preferred support system for the aged and “Living with the daughters” was the non-preferred support system.
  • This might be attributed to the fact that Indian culture underpins living of the aged parents with their sons but under normal circumstances living with their daughters is not preferred.

CONCLUSIONS

  • Aged living with their sons had a better QOL as most of them enjoyed from ‘Very good’ to ‘Acceptable’ QOL.
  • The number of the aged in the Problematic QOL category was found to be negligible.
  • Thus, indicating the vulnerability of this support system to slide into Problematic QOL category.
  • As ageing of population is becoming more and more pronounced, the concern for the quality of life and well-being of older people is also growing.
  • These years of life are not left over; rather a complete span of life, a stage when like ripened fruit the person is at his best.

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© Kamla-Raj 2009 Anthropologist, 11(2): 139-146 (2009)
A Comparative Appraisal of Quality of Life (QOL) of Aged Living
with Sons and Living with Daughters
Sarita Saini* and Sushma Jaswal**
Department of Human Development and Sociology, Punjab Agricultural University,
Ludhiana 141 004, Punjab, India
E-mail: *<sarita4040@yahoo.com>, **<sushma.jaswal@gmail.com>
KEYWORDS Quality of Life. Support systems. Dimensions of QOL. Aged
ABSTRACT The present study was undertaken during 2006 for a comparative appraisal of quality of life of aged
(65 years and above) living under two support systems, i.e. living with sons and living with daughters. The study was
based upon the sample of 200 subjects from Ludhiana city, equally drawn from the two support systems. The
sample drawn from each support system was further subdivided into two socio-economic groups which were further
subdivided over two sexes. A Quality of Life Profile, Senior’s version prepared and published by Quality of Life
Research Unit, University of Toronto, Canada (2000) was administered for comparative appraisal of Quality of
Life (QOL) of the subjects under selected support systems. The results revealed significant differences in the
quality of life of aged living under the two support systems. It was found that the aged living with sons had better
Quality of Life. Also, the aged were found to have lower QOL for the other support system i.e. “Living with
daughters”. Co-residence with sons was found to be the foremost choice of the aged irrespective of age, sex, marital
status and education.
INTRODUCTION
Across the world, countries are experiencing
population ageing. The growth rate of the elder-
ly population is more rapid in developing coun-
tries like India than developed countries. India
had 12 million old in 1901, 56 million in the year
1991 which increased to 71 million in 2001, is sus-
pected to have crossed 100 million by now and
is expected to reach 177 million by 2025.Apart
from demographic transitions; socio-economic
and political changes together with increased
individualism have altered living conditions of
the elderly. Many face isolation and lack the re-
sources for a better quality of life. Today, the
aged not only demand that society should en-
sure their independence and participation, but
also grant them a life full of care, fulfillment and
dignity. But a limited understanding of factors
influencing their quality of life is largely respon-
sible for the elderly being denied a dignified ex-
istence. After all, the last stage of life holds as
much potential for growth and development as
earlier stages. The diversity among the elderly
and varied inter-related influencing aspects from
their environment need significant consideration
of researchers and policy planners.
As the ageing of population is becoming more
and more pronounced, the concern for the qual-
ity of life and well- being of the older people is
also growing in both developing and developed
countries. The conventional view is that there is
direct positive relationship between QOL and
quality of human beings. A higher quality of life
improves the quality of the individual in a mutu-
ally self-reinforcing manner. Also, the care and
QOL are important determinants of longevity.
Amos et al. (1982) hypothesized that people
of poorly developed regions are content with
less because they aspire for less. Ramamurthi
and Jamuna (1993a) observed that self-accep-
tance of aging changes, self-perception of
health and satisfaction, with marital and famil-
ial relations are some of the factors that pre-
dict life satisfaction among the elderly and also
explain the phenomenon of loneliness.
In the developing countries, the family re-
mains the mainstay of care and support to the
old persons, where social security systems are
generally inadequate (United Nations, 1994).
Family support is particularly crucial in the case
of the oldest of old, whose physical and eco-
nomic needs are usually greater (United Nations,
2002). Living arrangement of the aged people with
the members of the family is very essential for a
satisfactory life on account of the stronger emo-
tional bonding of the parents with their children.
That is why, it is a social expectation in India that
the adult son(s) take care of the aged parents
and the daughter(s) take charge of the parents
only if the aged did not have son(s) (Vatuk 1990)).

140
SARITA SAINI AND SUSHMA JASWAL
Quality of Life Research Unit, University of Tor-
onto, Canada (2000) was administered to mea-
sure the Quality of Life (QOL) of the subjects
across these two support systems. This mea-
sure of Quality of life is culture fair. For compar-
ative appraisal of QOL of the aged across these
two support systems Z-test and t-test were em-
ployed.
The tool employed for this study provides a
holistic insight into the different components and
dimensions of the Quality of Life (Fig.2). It ex-
presses QOL in the quantitative terms through
appropriate indices.
RESULTS AND DISCUSSION
Background Information of the Aged across Two
Support Systems
Table 1 shows the distribution of aged males
across two support systems with reference to
age, socio-economic status, education, marital
status, living arrangement (with or without
spouse) and number of children.
Majority (68%) of the male respondents in
this study were in the age group of 65 -77 years,
with only few (8%) being above 89 years of
Also, the studies conducted in Delhi and
Lucknow showed that majority of the elderly liv-
ing with their sons was partially or wholly de-
pendent upon them (Delhi School of Social Work
1977; Soodan 1982). In view of the foregoing, it
was considered logical to direct investigations
towards a comparative appraisal of quality of life
of the aged living under two support systems
i.e. “Living with sons” and “Living with daugh-
ters”.
MATERIALS AND METHODS
The present study was undertaken to assess
the Quality of Life of the aged (65 years and
above) living under two support systems, i.e.
Living with sons and Living with daughters. The
study was based upon a sample of 200 subjects
from Ludhiana city, equally drawn through sim-
ple random sampling from the two support sys-
tems (Fig.1). The sample drawn from each sup-
port system was further subdivided into two
socio-economic groups namely Middle Socio-
Economic Group (MSEG) and Lower Socio-Eco-
nomic Group (LSEG). Which were further subdi-
vided over two sexes. A Quality of Life Profile,
Seniors version prepared and published by
Total Sample (200)
Aged living with Sons (100) Aged living with daughters (100)
MSEG (50) LSEG (50) MSEG (50) LSEG (50)
M (25) F (25) M (25) F (25) M (25) F (25) M (25) F (25)
Fig. 1. Sample distribution chart for the study
+
Growth
Becoming
Leisure
Becoming
Practical
Becoming
Community
Belonging
Social
Belonging
Physical
Belonging
Spiritual
Being
Psychological
Being
Physical
Being
Becoming Belonging Being
Growth
Becoming
Leisure
Becoming
Practical
Becoming
Community
Belonging
Social
Belonging
Physical
Belonging
Spiritual
Being
Psychological
Being
Physical
Being
Becoming Belonging Being
+
C
o
m
p
o
n
e
n
t
OVERALL QUALTIY OF LIFE OVERALL QUALTIY OF LIFE
D
i
m
e
n
s
i
o
n
D
i
m
e
n
s
i
o
n
D
i
m
e
n
s
i
o
n
Component
C
o
m
p
o
n
e
n
t
Dimension
D
i
m
e
n
s
i
o
n
D
i
m
e
n
s
i
o
n
D
i
m
e
n
s
i
o
n
Dimension
Dimension
Fig. 2. Components and Dimensions of Overall Quality of Life (QOL) Scroe

141
A COMPARATIVE APPRAISAL OF QUALITY OF LIFE (QOL) OF AGED
age. For the aged Living with sons, majority (76%)
were in the age group of 65-77 years and only 60
per cent of those Living with daughters fell in
this age group. As the age advanced, a higher
number of males were found to be “Living with
daughters” (30% and10%) rather than sons.
The respondents from both the support sys-
tems were almost equally distributed over the
two socio-economic levels, namely Middle
socio-economic status and Low socio-eco-
nomic status. Not much variation was noticed
in the educational backgrounds of the respon-
dents across both support systems. As regards
the literacy levels only 40 per cent male respon-
dents were under-matric and all others (60%)
were educated beyond matric, that is, 22 per
cent were matric, 20 per cent graduates and 18
per cent post-graduates.
It was found that of the male respondents
“Living with sons”, 36 per cent were gradu-
ates and post-graduates and 48 per cent were
under matric. Those “Living with daughters”,
only 21 per cent were graduates and post-grad-
uates and majority of them were under-matric
(32%) and matric (28%).
A probe into the marital status revealed that
76 per cent of the males “Living with the sons”
were married (both spouses alive) and those
“Living with daughters” included 52 per cent
widowers and 48 per cent married (both spous-
es alive). None among the divorced, aged
males were found to be “Living with sons or
daughters”. Out of the male respondents “Liv-
ing with daughters”, nearly half (52%) were wid-
owers, followed by 24 per cent married (both
spouses alive). None in the two support sys-
tems was unmarried or divorced.
An interesting finding was that males liv-
ing without spouse had an overwhelming choice
(42%) of residence with their daughters and only
12 per cent with their sons. The highest pro-
portion of the males with spouses lived with
their sons (88%), followed by those Living with
their daughters (58%). Out of the males having
both sons and daughters, majority (82%) pre-
ferred “Living with sons”, followed by those
Table 1: Background information of the aged males living with sons and living with daughters
S. Variable Support system Total (N=100)
No.
Living with Living with
sons (n=50) daughters (n=50)
1. Age (years)
65-77 38(76.00) 30(60.00) 68(68.00)
77-89 9(18.00) 15(30.00) 24(24.00)
89 and above 3(6.00) 5(10.00) 8(8.00)
2. Socio-economic Status
Low 25(50.00) 25(50.00) 50(50.00)
Middle 25(50.00) 25(50.00) 50(50.00)
3. Education
Under-matric 24(48.00) 16(32.00) 40(40.00)
Matric 8(16.00) 14(28.00) 22(22.00)
Graduate 9(18.00) 11(22.00) 20(20.00)
Post graduate 9(18.00) 9(18.00) 18(18.00)
4. Marital Status
Unmarried 0(0.00) 0(0.00) 0(0.00)
Married (both spouses alive) 38(76.00) 24(48.00) 62(62.00)
Widower 12(24.00) 26(52.00) 38(38.00)
Divorced 0(0.00) 0(0.00) 0(0.00)
5. Living
Without spouse 6(12.00) 21(42.00) 27(27.00)
With spouse 44(88.00) 29(58.00) 73(73.00)
6. Children
No child 0(0.00) 0(0.00) 0(0.00)
Only son 2(4.00) 0(0.00) 2(2.00)
Only daughter 0(0.00) 5(10.00) 5(5.00)
Two or more sons 7(14.00) 0(0.00) 7(7.00)
Two or more daughters 0(0.00) 13(26.00) 13(13.00)
Both son and daughter 41(82.00) 32(64.00) 73(73.00)
Figures in parentheses indicate the percentage

142
SARITA SAINI AND SUSHMA JASWAL
“Living with daughters” (64%). Thus, living with
the sons emerged as the first choice followed by
those living with daughters.
Table 2 depicts the background information
of female respondents across two support sys-
tems with reference to age, education, marital
status, living arrangement, i.e. with or without
spouse and number of children.
It was found that majority (67%) of the fe-
male respondents living across two support sys-
tems were in the age group of 65-77 years, fol-
lowed by 23 per cent in the age group of 77-89
years and only 10 per cent exceeding 89 years.
Out of the females living across two support
systems, majority (64%) of them were under-ma-
tric, with only a small proportion (7% and 2%)
being graduates and post-graduates. It was ob-
served that majority (46%) of the married (both
spouses alive) females lived with sons followed
by 34 per cent living with their daughters. Ma-
jority of the females were widows (66%) and were
“Living with daughters” and also 54 per cent of
those “Living with sons” were in the same cate-
gory.
However, the per cent of respondents with-
out spouse “Living with daughters” was quite
high (70%). Of those living with their spouses,
majority (46 %) preferred “Living with sons” and
remaining 30 per cent “Living with daughters”.
Majority of the aged females having both
sons and daughters, 88 per cent chose to live
with their sons and 74 per cent were living with
daughters.
The increasing proportion of older female
population is also an important aspect of the
public policy as the mortality rates are usually
higher among men than women. In fact the per-
centage of females tends to increase with ad-
vancing age. In most of the countries, older wom-
en out-number older men. The implications of
this gender imbalance for social support and
public planning merit serious consideration as
older women are mostly widows. They also have
less access to public assistance and other pri-
vate income sources. As such, the concerns of
the oldest of old population should be viewed
mainly as the concerns of older women (Higuchi
1966, United Nations 1999, United Nations 2002).
Table 2: Background information of the aged females living with sons and living with daughters
S. Variable Support system Total (N=100)
No.
Living with Living with
sons (n=50) daughters (n=50)
1. Age (years)
65-77 35(70.00) 32(64.00) 67(67.00)
77-89 10(20.00) 13(26.00) 23(23.00)
89 and above 5(10.00) 5(10.00) 10(10.00)
2. Socio-economic Status
Low 25(50.00) 25(50.00) 50(50.00)
Middle 25(50.00) 25(50.00) 50(50.00)
3. Education
Under-matric 30(60.00) 34(68.00) 64(64.00)
Matric 18(36.00) 9(18.00) 27(27.00)
Graduate 2(4.00) 5(10.00) 7(7.00)
Post graduate 0(0.00) 2(4.00) 2(2.00)
4. Marital Status
Un married 0(0.00) 0(0.00) 0(0.00)
Married (both spouses alive) 23(46.00) 17(34.00) 40(40.00)
Widower 27(54.00) 33(66.00) 60(60.00)
Divorced 0(0.00) 0(0.00) 0(0.00)
5. Living
Without spouse 27(54.00) 35(70.00) 62(62.00)
With spouse 23(46.00) 15(30.00) 38(38.00)
6. Children
No child 0(0.00) 0(0.00) 0(0.00)
Only son 4(8.00) 0(0.00) 4(4.00)
Only daughter 0(0.00) 3(6.00) 3(3.00)
Two or more sons 2(4.00) 0(0.00) 2(2.00)
Two or more daughters 0(0.00) 10(20.00) 10(10.00)
Both son and daughter 44(88.00) 37(74.00) 81(81.00)
Figures in parentheses indicate the percentage

143
A COMPARATIVE APPRAISAL OF QUALITY OF LIFE (QOL) OF AGED
Assessment of Quality of Life (QOL) of Aged
Living Under Different Support Systems
Table 3 shows the distribution of the aged
based on overall Quality of Life (QOL) scores
across two support systems selected for this
study.
The Three Domains of Quality of Life (QOL)
The three domains of Quality of Life (QOL),
as shown in Table 3, include the Positive,
Borderline and Negative domains of Quality of
life. Positive domain covered a major share of
respondents in the support system “Living with
sons”, i.e. 56 per cent whereas only 33 per cent
from other support system were seen in this
domain. “Positive domain” implied good Quality
of Life (QOL) at the present time and, thus ought
to be sustained and enhanced. The other two
categories of Quality of Life (QOL) were the
“Borderline domain” and “Negative domain”.
The second domain i.e., “Borderline domain”
refers to the vulnerable category of Quality of
Life (QOL), which calls for an action plan to
enhance the Quality of Life (QOL). “Negative”-
the third domain points towards the problem
areas that need to be addressed.
Proportion of Respondents in the different
Domains of Quality of Life (QOL) Across
Selected Support Systems
1. Positive Domain of Quality of Life (QOL):
It is observed from the data presented in Table 3
that the support system comprising ‘Living with
the sons’ had high percentage of the aged fall-
ing in the positive domain of Quality of Life (QOL)
i.e., 56 per cent. In other words, they were lead-
ing Very Good to Acceptable QOL. The data also
revealed that for the other support system i.e.
‘Living with the daughters’, only 33% of the re-
spondents fell under the positive domain of QOL.
These observations were in line with the age-
old Indian traditions, preferences and beliefs.
Unless faced with a formidable situation, the aged
are known to derive the maximum satisfaction by
residing with their sons during their silver age.
Most aged in India had strong belief that this
was one of their natural choices as it reinforced
the age-old Indian tradition and culture. This find-
ing was also supported by other studies infer-
ring that the aged in the traditional societies en-
joyed unparallel sense of honour, legitimate au-
thority, and decision-making responsibilities in
the family as the elderly were regarded as repos-
itories of experience and wisdom (Khan 1997 and
Singh 1997).
2. Adequate or Borderline Domain of Qual-
ity of Life (QOL): The second important catego-
ry of QOL was the ‘Adequate’ category or ‘Bor-
derline’ domain of the QOL. It was interesting
to observe that the QOL of a fairly large pro-
portion of the aged living under both support
systems, namely those ‘Living with their sons’
(42%), and those ‘Living with their daughters’
(34%) fell under the Borderline domain.
In order to bring about a perceptible change
in the existing scenario of this domain (Bor-
derline domain), attention ought to be focused
on relevant aspects of Quality of Life (QOL)
which might prevent a further slide down of
Table 3: Distribution of the aged based on overall Quality of Life (QOL) scores across two support
systems (N=200)
S. Category/domain of QOL Range of scores Support Systems Z values
No.
Living Living with
with sons daughters
(n=100) (n=100)
1. Very Good > 1.50 7(7.00) 4(4.00) 0.93
2. Acceptable 1.50 to 0.51 49(49.00) 29(29.00) 2.90*
Positive domain(Very Good +Acceptable ) 56(56.00) 33(33.00) 3.27*
3. Adequate 0.50 to -0.50 42(42.00) 34(34.00) 1.16
Borderline domain(Adequate) 42(42.00) 34(34.00) 1.16
4. Problematic -0.51 to -1.50 2(2.00) 31(31.00) 5.53*
5. Very problematic < -1.50 0(0.00) 2(2.00) 1.42
Negative domain(Problematic + 2(2.00) 33(33.00) 5.77*
Very Problematic)
Figures in parentheses indicate the percentage
* significant at 5 per cent level

Citations
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01 Jan 2019
TL;DR: There was a significant difference in the mean scores of QOL and the different domains of Q OL of older adults staying in old-age home and family at (P < 0.05).
Abstract: Old age is a critical period which requires special attention in adapting to the changes of life. A descriptive comparative research study was conducted to assess the quality of life (QOL) and its components among the older adults staying in old-age home and staying with family in selected area of Kolkata, West Bengal. A total of 100 senior citizens above the age of 60 years were selected as samples for the study, of which 50 were from old-age home and 50 from those staying with family. Standardised tool Short-Form 36 Version 2 - Health Survey and Multidimensional Scale for perceived social support were used to measure the QOL. Descriptive and inferential statistics were used to analyse the data. The study findings showed that there was a significant difference in the mean scores of QOL and the different domains of QOL of older adults staying in old-age home and family at (P < 0.05). Older adults staying in old-age home perceived better QOL as compared to those staying with family.

1 citations


References
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Abstract: This paper analyzes the relation between regional development and perceived life satisfaction measures. Using Oklahoma it is identified that people in less developed regions tend to be equally (or more) satisfied in almost every aspect of their lives. This leads to the conclusion that aspirations, in addition to the attainment of aspirations, depend on the level of development.

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"A Comparative Appraisal of Quality ..." refers background in this paper

  • ...Biswas (1987) studied dependency and family care of the aged....

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Frequently Asked Questions (1)
Q1. What have the authors contributed in "A comparative appraisal of quality of life (qol) of aged living with sons and living with daughters" ?

The present study was undertaken during 2006 for a comparative appraisal of quality of life of aged ( 65 years and above ) living under two support systems, i. e. living with sons and living with daughters. The study was based upon the sample of 200 subjects from Ludhiana city, equally drawn from the two support systems. The sample drawn from each support system was further subdivided into two socio-economic groups which were further subdivided over two sexes.