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Open AccessArticle

Social Capital and Self-Rated Health among Older Adults Living in Urban China: A Mediation Model

by Nan Lu 1,2 and Jingyue Zhang 3,4,*
Department of Social Work and Social Policy, School of Sociology and Population Studies, Renmin University of China, Beijing 100872, China
Sau Po Centre on Ageing, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong
Department of Sociology, School of Philosophy and Sociology, Jilin University, Changchun 130012, China
Institute of Gender and Culture, Changchun Normal University, Changchun 130052, China
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2019, 11(20), 5566;
Received: 25 August 2019 / Revised: 30 September 2019 / Accepted: 2 October 2019 / Published: 10 October 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Aging: Healthcare, Inequalities, Challenges and Trends)
Social capital and healthy aging are both crucial for social sustainability in China. The present study tested the role of structural social capital in self-rated health among older urban Chinese adults and the influence of cognitive social capital on this relationship. A sample of 456 older adults aged 60 or older in Suzhou, China, were recruited and completed the survey in 2015. Structural equation modeling was used to test the proposed model. Cognitive social capital had larger effects on self-rated health than structural social capital. The relationship between structural social capital and self-rated health was fully mediated by cognitive social capital, when sociodemographic characteristics, socioeconomic status, physical health conditions, and living arrangements were controlled. The culturally sensitive latent construct of community-based social capital proved to be a valid instrument in urban Chinese contexts. Structural social capital likely indirectly affects self-rated health through cognitive social capital. Policy and intervention implications are discussed. View Full-Text
Keywords: structural social capital; cognitive social capital; self-rated health structural social capital; cognitive social capital; self-rated health
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Lu, N.; Zhang, J. Social Capital and Self-Rated Health among Older Adults Living in Urban China: A Mediation Model. Sustainability 2019, 11, 5566.

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