This study examined the mediator role of social capital on the association between perceived neighborhood environment and life satisfaction among older adults in urban China, and further tested the moderating effect of gender in the above paths (i.e., from neighborhood environment to life satisfaction; from neighborhood environment to social capital; from social capital to life satisfaction). We used quota sampling approach to recruit 472 respondents aged 60 years old or older in Shanghai in 2020. From the perspective of structural equation modeling, multiple group analysis was conducted to examine the proposed hypotheses. The measurement model of social capital was well established in urban Chinese community contexts. Based on the whole sample, the results of the mediation model showed that social capital played a mediation role in the association between neighborhood environment and life satisfaction. Furthermore, the results of multiple group analysis showed that the association between neighborhood environment and cognitive social capital was only significant among older women. The findings highlight the role of neighborhood environment and social capital in building age-friendly communities.
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