Subjective Social Status, Area Deprivation, and Gender Differences in Health among Chinese Older People

Xi CHEN, Jean WOO, Ruby YU, Gary Ka-Ki CHUNG, Wei YAO, Eng-Kiong YEOH

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

2 Citations (Scopus)


This study examined the gender differences in the main and interactive effects of subjective social status and area deprivation on health among older adults in Hong Kong. Data for this study came from the baseline of MrOs and MsOs studies, including 4000 Chinese men and women ≥ 65 in Hong Kong. Subjective social status was assessed using the MacArthur Scale of subjective social status scale. Our results reaffirm that subjective social status is an independent indicator of health after adjusting for objective SES measures (e.g., education and income). Perceived rank on the community ladder was more closely related to health among older people than was the society ladder, particularly for women. Although area-level social deprivation was not significantly associated with the health of older people, it may moderate the effect of subjective social status on health. Women with a lower perceived status in the community were more likely to experience depressive symptoms but better grip strength when living in more deprived neighborhoods. The findings suggested that subjective social status provides important information for the physical and mental health of the older population. Policymakers may implement interventions to enhance the subjective social status of older adults. Given the greater contribution of relative status in the community to the health of women, these policies and interventions should target to improve women’s perceived status in the community.
Original languageEnglish
Article number9857
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number16
Early online date10 Aug 2022
Publication statusPublished - 10 Aug 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The fourth author, Gary Ka-Ki Chung, acknowledges the Research Grant Council for its support over his Postdoctoral Fellowship (Ref. No.: PDFS2122-4H02).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 by the authors.


  • subjective social status
  • area deprivation
  • physical health
  • mental health
  • gender differences
  • status in the community
  • older people
  • Hong Kong


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