Relative deprivation and perception of financial adequacy among the aged

J. Liang, T. J. Fairchild

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


This paper presents a conceptual framework that incorporates the notion of relative deprivation to explain the perceived financial adequacy among the elderly. The model not only provides a more heuristic interpretation of older people's financial satisfaction but also further clarifies the role of actual income. The relative deprivation model was evaluated by using data from the General Social Survey conducted by the National Opinion Research Ctr. from 1972 through 1977. The findings support the predictions derived from the model and were replicated with high consistency across these six data sets. According to the findings, financial satisfaction is directly related to relative deprivation while income only indirectly affects one's sense of financial well-being. Social status, income, and labor force participation have been demonstrated to be either directly or indirectly related to feelings of deprivation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)746-759
Number of pages14
JournalJournals of Gerontology
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1 Jan 1979


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