Problems in life styles and health status according to family type and the presence or lack of a spouse among the aged in a rural area were investigated. The subjects were all residents of 65 or over who lived at home in Ohgata Town, Kochi Prefecture, in March of 1982. Responses to the questionnaire survey were obtained from 1,545 (92.5%) out of 1,671. The subjects were divided into three groups of family type, that is, "single", "couple" and "other", and into two groups by marital status, that is, "married" and "not married". The perceived health status of "single" subjects was not different from that of "other" subjects, but those requiring help in activities of daily living (ADL) were less among "single" than among "other" females. Also, the perceived health of "couples" was worse than that of "others" among males. No differences were observed in the rate of those with work among the three groups of family types. Those joining in group activities were fewer, but not significantly, so among "single" men than among men of the other two groups, but no differences were observed among females. The perceived health status of "married" males were worse than that of the "unmarried" males, but no differences were observed among females. Those with work were greater among "married" than "unmarried" subjects of both sexes, and those having a role at home were greater among "married" than "unmarried" females. No differences were observed in the rate of joining in group activities or health practices between "married" and "unmarried" subjects. These findings demonstrated that family patterns played the same important role in the health and welfare needs of aged people as age factors.