Social support and self-rated health revisited : is there a gender difference in later life?

Sheung Tak CHENG, Cheung Ming, Alfred CHAN

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)Researchpeer-review

36 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This study examines the physical, behavioral, emotional and social determinants of self-rated health among Chinese older persons, and investigates if the effect of social support varies by gender. A representative sample of 1589 elderly community dwellers in Hong Kong were interviewed using a structured questionnaire. Gender difference in the effect of social support was tested by an interaction term, 'gender x social support', in a hierarchical regression analysis. The frequency of falling ill, the number of chronic illnesses, sleep quality, mobility and positive emotions were most important determinants of self-rated health. The effect of social support was completely redundant when these factors were taken into account. The interaction term 'gender x social support' was significant and indicated a stronger effect for women, but the effect size was negligible (adding only 0.3% to the explained variance). This suggests that the effect of social support by and large is gender free. These findings suggest a high degree of similarity in the determinants of self-rated health between Western and Chinese older populations.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)118-122
Number of pages5
JournalSocial Science and Medicine
Volume63
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2006

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Social Support
social support
gender-specific factors
Health
health
gender
determinants
Accidental Falls
Hong Kong
interaction
sleep
chronic illness
Gender Differences
Sleep
regression analysis
Emotions
Chronic Disease
emotion
Regression Analysis
questionnaire

Cite this

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title = "Social support and self-rated health revisited : is there a gender difference in later life?",
abstract = "This study examines the physical, behavioral, emotional and social determinants of self-rated health among Chinese older persons, and investigates if the effect of social support varies by gender. A representative sample of 1589 elderly community dwellers in Hong Kong were interviewed using a structured questionnaire. Gender difference in the effect of social support was tested by an interaction term, 'gender x social support', in a hierarchical regression analysis. The frequency of falling ill, the number of chronic illnesses, sleep quality, mobility and positive emotions were most important determinants of self-rated health. The effect of social support was completely redundant when these factors were taken into account. The interaction term 'gender x social support' was significant and indicated a stronger effect for women, but the effect size was negligible (adding only 0.3{\%} to the explained variance). This suggests that the effect of social support by and large is gender free. These findings suggest a high degree of similarity in the determinants of self-rated health between Western and Chinese older populations.",
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Social support and self-rated health revisited : is there a gender difference in later life? / CHENG, Sheung Tak; CHAN, Cheung Ming, Alfred.

In: Social Science and Medicine, Vol. 63, No. 1, 01.07.2006, p. 118-122.

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)Researchpeer-review

TY - JOUR

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AU - CHENG, Sheung Tak

AU - CHAN, Cheung Ming, Alfred

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AB - This study examines the physical, behavioral, emotional and social determinants of self-rated health among Chinese older persons, and investigates if the effect of social support varies by gender. A representative sample of 1589 elderly community dwellers in Hong Kong were interviewed using a structured questionnaire. Gender difference in the effect of social support was tested by an interaction term, 'gender x social support', in a hierarchical regression analysis. The frequency of falling ill, the number of chronic illnesses, sleep quality, mobility and positive emotions were most important determinants of self-rated health. The effect of social support was completely redundant when these factors were taken into account. The interaction term 'gender x social support' was significant and indicated a stronger effect for women, but the effect size was negligible (adding only 0.3% to the explained variance). This suggests that the effect of social support by and large is gender free. These findings suggest a high degree of similarity in the determinants of self-rated health between Western and Chinese older populations.

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