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Open AccessArticle

Social Capital and Mental Health in Rural and Urban China: A Composite Hypothesis Approach

by 1,†, 2,3,†, 1,*,† and 4,*
1
Department of Statistics, Shandong University, Weihai 264209, China
2
Department of Engineering, University of Cambridge, Cambridge CB2 1PZ, UK
3
School of Architecture, Building and Civil Engineering, Loughborough University, Loughborough LE11 3TU, UK
4
School of Management, Shandong University, Jinan 250100, China
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
The first three authors equally contribute to this article.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(4), 665; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16040665
Received: 15 January 2019 / Revised: 8 February 2019 / Accepted: 19 February 2019 / Published: 25 February 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue IJERPH: 15th Anniversary)
The objective of this study is to follow the composite theory approach to analyze the effect of social capital on self-rated mental health in rural and urban China. Our nationally representative sample includes 10,968 respondents from 130 county-level communities. Two-level random-coefficient linear regressions, which model individual and community variations in subjective mental health, were estimated by taking the hierarchical structure of the dataset into account. We found that a significant proportion of the total variations in self-rated mental health were explained at the community level. We also found an association between low contextual civic trust and poor self-rated mental health after adjusting for individual social capital and individual socioeconomic-demographic variables. The study also revealed that: (1) in rural areas a positive relationship between civic and political trust and mental health existed both at the individual and the community level, respectively; and (2) in urban areas, only political trust at the individual level contributed to better mental health. In addition, the individual and community level political participation exhibited a positive impact on mental health measures in both rural and urban China. The individual level civic participation was positively associated to the outcome variable. However, the community-level civic participation seemed to negatively impact mental health in urban area. Our findings emphasize the importance of both individual and community-level healthcare interventions in China. Finally, this study also found that human capital covariates remained important predictors of self-rated mental health status even after controlling social capital both at individual and community levels. This study suggested that the composite thesis could provide a more convincing narrative than other theories in explaining the effects of both human and social capital on health. View Full-Text
Keywords: China; human capital; multilevel linear regression; self-rated mental health; social capital China; human capital; multilevel linear regression; self-rated mental health; social capital
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MDPI and ACS Style

Lin, X.; Lu, R.; Guo, L.; Liu, B. Social Capital and Mental Health in Rural and Urban China: A Composite Hypothesis Approach. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16, 665. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16040665

AMA Style

Lin X, Lu R, Guo L, Liu B. Social Capital and Mental Health in Rural and Urban China: A Composite Hypothesis Approach. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2019; 16(4):665. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16040665

Chicago/Turabian Style

Lin, Xiaoming; Lu, Ruodan; Guo, Liang; Liu, Bing. 2019. "Social Capital and Mental Health in Rural and Urban China: A Composite Hypothesis Approach" Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 16, no. 4: 665. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16040665

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