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Individual social capital and health-related quality of life among older rural Chinese

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  07 October 2015

Centre for Health Management and Policy, Shandong University (Laboratory of Health Economics and Policy, National Health and Planning Commission), Jinan, China.
Centre for Health Management and Policy, Shandong University (Laboratory of Health Economics and Policy, National Health and Planning Commission), Jinan, China.
International Centre for Mental Health Social Research, Department of Social Policy and Social Work, University of York, UK.
Department of Global Health Systems and Development, School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, Tulane University, New Orleans, Louisiana, USA.
Address for correspondence: Lizheng Shi, Department of Global Health Systems and Development, School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, Tulane University, 1440 Canal Street, Suite 1900, New Orleans, LA 70112, USA E-mail:


No study based on the Resource Generator has explored the association between individual social capital and health-related quality of life among older adults. This study aims to evaluate the validity and reliability of the adapted Resource Generator-China, and examine the association between individual social capital measured by the Resource Generator-China and health-related quality of life of older rural-dwelling Chinese people. A field survey including 975 rural-dwelling people aged between 60 and 75 years was conducted in three counties of the Shandong Province of China in 2013. Quality of life was measured by the Chinese version of the 36-Item Short Form Health Survey (SF-36): scores of Physical Component Summary and Mental Component Summary. Cumulative scale analyses were performed to analyse the homogeneity and reliability of the Resource Generator-China. We constructed generalised linear models by gender to examine the associations of social capital with health-related quality of life. Our findings suggest that the adapted instrument for older rural-dwelling Chinese people can be a reliable and valid measure of access to individual social capital. There were positive associations between individual social capital (total scores and sub-scale scores) and health-related quality of life. Individual social capital had a stronger association with mental health among women than men. Future studies should be improved through a longitudinal design with a larger and randomised sample covering large geographical rural areas in China.

Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2015 

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