ABSTRACT

Baby boomers became the center of our attention due to the rapidly aging society and social burdens accompanied by the rapid aging. Few previous studies, however,have examined the characteristics of baby boomers by comparing them with other generations. This study aims to understand the characteristics of baby boomers through several generational comparisons. Data include 14,850 adults aged 18 and over who participated in the Korean Welfare Panel Study - specifically, 2,269 baby boomers, 6,044 younger people, and 6,537 older people. In order to examine whether baby boomers differ from other generations, both bivariate(e.g., Chi-test and F-test)and multi-variate analyses(e.g., Structural Equation Modeling) were used. The results of Chi-square test revealed that baby boomers differ from other generations in the distributions of gender, chronic illnesses, public assistance, and disability. The results of F-test also showed that baby boomers are significantly different from other generations in the levels of education, income, family relations, subjective health, and medical service uses. But they did not differ from other generations in the levels of preventive health examination services. Controlling for related factors, the results of SEM showed that the levels of baby boomers' life satisfaction is significantly lower than those of younger and older generations, indicating that the relationship between age and life satisfaction is U-shaped and that the happiness levels of baby boomers may be the lowest among the three generations. Multi-group SEM revealed that many life satisfaction predictors of baby boomers differ from those of other generations. Based on the findings, future research directions and practical implications were discussed.

KEYWORD

Baby-boomers, pre-baby-boomers, post-baby-boomers, life satisfaction, age variations, generational comparisons

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