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The subjective well-being of older adults in Shanghai: The role of residential environment and individual resources


  • Yafei Liu

    (Utrecht University, Netherlands)

  • Martin Dijst

    (Utrecht University, Netherlands)

  • Stan Geertman

    (Utrecht University, Netherlands)


As a rapidly ageing population becomes an increasingly serious social challenge for Chinese megacities, issues affecting older adults’ subjective well-being (SWB) attract greater concern. However, it is difficult to gain a comprehensive understanding of older adults’ SWB, since most SWB theories focus only on specific factors. Moreover, residential environmental factors are hardly considered in studies of older adults’ SWB. In this paper we therefore investigate the effects of residential environment and individual resources on the SWB of older adults in Shanghai, using the integrative theoretical framework proposed by Lindenberg. We investigate the relationships between resources (residential environment and individual resources), needs satisfaction and SWB using multiple regression analysis. Our results show that the residential environment exerts a stronger impact on SWB than individual resources. Good quality residential building, good accessibility to medical and financial facilities, higher economic status of a neighbourhood, and a lower proportion of older adults in a neighbourhood are important environmental correlates of SWB. Health appears to be the most significant individual resource; other important individual resources include household income, a high-skilled occupation, a job in the public sector and living with grandchildren. Comfort is the most important basic need for older adults.

Suggested Citation

  • Yafei Liu & Martin Dijst & Stan Geertman, 2017. "The subjective well-being of older adults in Shanghai: The role of residential environment and individual resources," Urban Studies, Urban Studies Journal Limited, vol. 54(7), pages 1692-1714, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:sae:urbstu:v:54:y:2017:i:7:p:1692-1714

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    Cited by:

    1. Qian Jin & Philip Pearce & Hui Hu, 2018. "The Study on the Satisfaction of the Elderly People Living with Their Children," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 140(3), pages 1159-1172, December.
    2. Florian W. Bartholomae & Chang Woon Nam & Alina Schoenberg, 2017. "Urban Resurgence as a Consumer City: A Case Study for Weimar in Eastern Germany," CESifo Working Paper Series 6610, CESifo.


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