Social Economic Status, Social Capital, and Mental Health Inequity among the Older Adults in China: An Examination with Individual and Community Data

Yuying Shen, University of North Texas
Dale Yeatts, University of North Texas
Cynthia Cready, University of North Texas
Tianji Cai, University of North Texas
Philip Yang, University of North Texas

This study examines the current mental health conditions among the older adults in Zhejiang and Gansu provinces, China and the effects from socio-economic status (SES) and social capital, with particular attention given to the variations across genders, across different age groups, and across rural/urban residential areas. Statistical results indicate that better education and perceived support in future are consistently significant for the mental health for all groups; mutuality with others is significant to the mental health of females and rural Hukou residents. Availability of Community amenities for the elderly is significant of better mental health for all groups. Community cohesion is significant only for females and rural residents. These findings suggest that great differentiations in economic and social life still exist between different groups among the older adults in China. Also, differences may exist across different groups in using social resources to cope with the stressful circumstances in life.

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Presented in Poster Session 6