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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12(8), 9012-9024; doi:10.3390/ijerph120809012

Urbanization and Mental Health in China: Linking the 2010 Population Census with a Cross-Sectional Survey

1
Department of Applied Social Sciences, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Hum, Kowloon, Hong Kong
2
Global China Studies, New York University Shanghai, 1555 Century Ave, Pudong, Shanghai 200122, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Paul B. Tchounwou
Received: 20 May 2015 / Revised: 6 July 2015 / Accepted: 7 July 2015 / Published: 31 July 2015
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Abstract

Along with the rapid urbanization in China, the state of mental health also receives growing attention. Empirical measures, however, have not been developed to assess the impact of urbanization on mental health and the dramatic spatial variations. Innovatively linking the 2010 Chinese Population Census with a 2011 national survey of urban residents, we first assess the impact of urbanization on depressive symptoms measured by the Center of Epidemiological Studies Depression Scale (CES-D) of 1288 survey respondents. We then retrieve county-level characteristics from the 2010 Chinese Population Census that match the individual characteristics in the survey, so as to create a profile of the “average person” for each of the 2869 counties or city districts, and predict a county-specific CES-D score. We use this county-specific CES-D score to compute the CES-D score for the urban population at the prefectural level, and to demonstrate the dramatic spatial variations in urbanization and mental health across China: highly populated cities along the eastern coast such as Shenyang and Shanghai show high CES-D scores, as do cities in western China with high population density and a high proportion of educated ethnic minorities. View Full-Text
Keywords: China; urbanization; mental health; spatial variation; survey; population census China; urbanization; mental health; spatial variation; survey; population census
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MDPI and ACS Style

Chen, J.; Chen, S.; Landry, P.F. Urbanization and Mental Health in China: Linking the 2010 Population Census with a Cross-Sectional Survey. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12, 9012-9024.

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