Family Structure and Chinese Elderly's Mental Health and Life Satisfaction: Does Social Support Matter?

Tuesday, 17 July 2018: 17:30
Oral Presentation
Xupeng MAO, New York University, USA
Wen-Jui HAN, New York Univesity, USA
Using data from five waves of the Chinese Longitudinal Healthy Longevity Survey (N ≈ 5,000), we examined the association between family structure and the psychological well-being and life satisfaction of elderly Chinese citizens, paying attention to the mediating role of social support. We also explored whether this association differs by types and sources of social support. Structural equation modeling (SEM) results indicate that living alone was negatively associated with rural elders’ life satisfaction, whereas urban elders living in institutions were more likely to be satisfied with their life. Social support not only played an important mediating role, but also mattered to elders’ psychological well-being and life satisfaction. The mediating role played by social support differed by types and sources of social support. Implications for the well-being of the Chinese elderly population are discussed.