This study was designed to identify degrees of self-esteem, instrumental activities of daily living and life satisfaction in the elderly and to investigate the relationship between these factors thus contributing to effective nursing interventions to promote quality of life for both noninstitutionalized and institutionalized elderly. The subjects for this study included 130 noninstitutionalized and institutionalized elderly. The data were collected through personal interviews using a questionnaire, the time being from August 25 to September 7, 1997. The measurement tools were the Self-esteem Scale Developed by Rosenberg and translated by Jon, Byong Je(1974), the IADL scale developed by Lawton and Brody(1968). and the Life Satisfaction developed by Youn, Jin(1982). The data were analyzed by the S.P.S.S computer program and included descriptive statistics, t-test, One was ANOVA and Pearson correlation coefficient. The conclusions of this study are summarized as follows ; 1. There was a significant difference in Self-Esteem(t=7.05, P=.000). IADL(t=4.36, P=.000). and Life Satisfaction(t=6.63, P=.000) between the noninstitutionalized elderly and the institutionalized elderly. 2. There was a significant positive correlation between self-esteem and IADL(gamma=.4028). self-esteem and life satisfaction(gamma=.6415). and IADL and life satisfaction(gamma=.3884) in the noninstitutionalized elderly(P<.001). and between self-esteem and life satisfaction(gamma=.3883, P<.001). IADL and life satisfaction(gamma=.2501, P<.05) in the institutionalized elderly. 3. According to the general characteristics of the noninstitutionalized and institutionalized elderly : Self-Esteem of the noninstitutionalized elderly was significantly different, according to educational level(F=4.491, P=.031). job(F=2.53, P=.014). living expense load(F=2.861, P=.044). and self-esteem, and of the institutionalized elderly, it was significantly different according to educational level only(F=4.480, P=.006). IADL of the noninstitutionalized elderly was significantly different according to age(F=3.018, P=.021). living expense load(F=3.084, P=.033). pocket money(F=3.606, P=.010). and for the institutionalized elderly, it was significantly different according to age(F=2.899, P=.042), and religion(F=2.847, P=.044). Life Satisfaction of the noninstitutionalized elderly(F=2.718, P=.037) and institutionalized elderly(F=3.165, P=.030) was significantly different according to pocket money.