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      Associations between Community Cohesion and Subjective Wellbeing of the Elderly in Guangzhou, China—A Cross-Sectional Study Based on the Structural Equation Model

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          Abstract

          Population aging has become one of the most prominent population trends in China and worldwide. Given the retirement and physical limitation of the elderly, the neighborhood has gradually become the center of their daily lives and communication. Community cohesion plays an essential role in improving the elderly’s subjective wellbeing. However, most present studies on the concept and relationship between different dimensions of community cohesion are mainly in western countries. Meanwhile, most of the studies on the relationship between community cohesion and subjective wellbeing only focused on one aspect of community cohesion such as community interaction. To address this research gap, this study sampled 20 communities in Guangzhou, conducted a questionnaire survey on 969 elderly people, and explored the relationship between four aspects of community cohesion (community interaction, environmental satisfaction, belonging, and participation) and their associations with subjective wellbeing using the Structural Equation Model (SEM). In addition, we performed multi-group analysis to study the association differences among older individuals in communities with different socioeconomic types. We found that: (1) The conceptual relationship between different aspects of community cohesion among older adults is significant; (2) Community environmental satisfaction, interaction, and belonging associate with the elderly’s subjective wellbeing, whereas there is no significant association between community participation and subjective wellbeing; (3) Mental health is an important mediating factor connecting community cohesion and subjective wellbeing, whereas physical health is not. (4) The association pattern of older adults in communities with different socio-economic status are identical, whereas the association strengths are different. In high Socio-Economic Status Index (SESI) communities (communities where older adults with relatively high socioeconomic attributes gather, such as high income and education level), community belonging and participation are significantly associated with community environmental satisfaction and interaction, respectively. In low SESI communities (communities in which older adults with relatively low socioeconomic attributes gather, such as low income and education level), community interaction, belonging, and participation considerably link to community environmental satisfaction, interaction, and belonging, respectively. Regarding the association between community cohesion and subjective wellbeing, community interaction has stronger linkage with the elderly’s subjective wellbeing of in high-SESI aging community than low-SESI aging community. While community environmental satisfaction has stronger association with the elderly’s subjective wellbeing of the elderly in low-SESI aging community than high-SESI aging community. Therefore, it is sensible for community planning to focus on community environment improvement and vibrant community activities organization.

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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Int J Environ Res Public Health
                Int J Environ Res Public Health
                ijerph
                International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
                MDPI
                1661-7827
                1660-4601
                22 January 2021
                February 2021
                : 18
                : 3
                Affiliations
                [1 ]School of Geography and Planning, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou 510275, China; laishl3@ 123456mail2.sysu.edu.cn
                [2 ]Guangzhou Urban Planning & Design Survey Research Institute, Guangzhou 510060, China
                [3 ]Department of City and Regional Planning, College of Environmental Design, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720, USA
                Author notes
                Article
                ijerph-18-00953
                10.3390/ijerph18030953
                7908095
                33499175
                bac28d94-04f3-4cf4-a63c-e5d170f3c430
                © 2021 by the authors.

                Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).

                Categories
                Article

                Public health
                community cohesion,subjective well-being,elderly,structural equation model,guangzhou
                Public health
                community cohesion, subjective well-being, elderly, structural equation model, guangzhou

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