Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name


Organizational Unit

Graduate School of Social Work

First Advisor

Leslie Hasche, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Debora Ortega

Third Advisor

Jennifer C. Greenfield

Fourth Advisor

Iris Chi


Chinese American, Older adults, Exposure to American culture, Gerontology, Social work, Online dating, Sexual strategies theory


In recently years, there has been a dramatic increase in the use of online dating websites among adults over age 50. Nevertheless, samples collected in existing literature are mainly centered on White/Caucasian Americans. Furthermore, the only theoretical guide has been sexual strategies theory. This study fills the gap by using sexual strategies theory and acculturation theory to test Chinese American older adults dating preferences.

The sexual strategies theory discusses how males and females use different mating strategies in short-term and long-term contexts. Acculturation theory describes changes in which individuals or groups adopt another culture when it makes contact with their original culture. Since culture influences individuals' dating preferences, this study tests how exposure to American culture, in terms of length of residency and education location, influences the sexual strategies theory's description of dating preferences regarding age differences, shortest height acceptance, and preference for partner's income and education. Also, this study examines how dating preferences, affected by acculturation, vary by gender.

Two hundred and fifty-seven Chinese American older adults' online dating profiles were collected from a national online dating website. Multivariate multiple regression, multivariate analysis of variance, and logistic regression were used. The final results indicate that sexual strategies theory may be applied to explain Chinese American older adults' dating preferences. Exposure to American culture, in terms of length of residency and education location, does not influence Chinese American older females' dating preferences. However, the length of residency and education location affects Chinese American older males' acceptance of partners' shortest height and preference of partners' minimum education level.

Understanding the dating preferences of Chinese older adults in the U.S. can contribute to the growth of culturally sensitive social work practices that promote innovative uses of technology to reduce the dangers of social isolation. The descriptive data offers insights into Chinese older adults' involvement in online dating and can help dismantle stereotypes and stigma that contribute to social isolation and loneliness.

Publication Statement

Copyright is held by the author. User is responsible for all copyright compliance.

Rights Holder

Lin Jiang


Received from ProQuest

File Format




File Size

134 p.


Social Work, Gerontology, Gender Studies

Included in

Social Work Commons