Social capital, perceived neighborhood environment, and depressive symptoms among older adults in rural China: The role of self-rated health

Nan Lu, Bei Wu, Yaolin Pei, Changmin Peng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objectives: This study examined the relationships between social capital, perceived neighborhood environment, and depressive symptoms among older adults living in rural China, and the moderating effect of self-rated health (SRH) in these relationships. Participants: A quota sampling method was applied to recruit 447 participants aged 60 years and older in rural communities in Jilin province, China in 2019. Measurements: Depressive symptoms were measured by the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale. Structural equation modeling was used to build latent constructs of social capital and test the proposed model. Multiple group analysis was used to test the moderation effects. Results: Cognitive social capital and structural social capital were both associated with depressive symptoms controlling for participants' demographics, socioeconomic status, and health status. After adding perceived environment variables in the model, the relationship between cognitive social capital and depressive symptoms became nonsignificant, while structural social capital remained became a significant factor (β = -.168, p <.01). Satisfaction with health care was significantly associated with depressive symptoms among those with poor SRH (β = -.272, p <.01), whereas satisfaction with security and transportation were strongly associated with depressive symptoms among those with good SRH (security: β = -.148, p <.01; transportation: β = -.174, p <.01). Conclusions: Study findings highlighted the importance of social capital and neighborhood environment as potential protective factors of depressive symptoms in later life. Policy and intervention implications were also discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalInternational Psychogeriatrics
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2021

Keywords

  • depressive symptoms
  • perceived neighborhood environment
  • self-rated health
  • social capital

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Gerontology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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