Subjective social status, area deprivation, and gender differences in health among Chinese older people

Xi CHEN (Presenter)

Research output: Other Conference ContributionsPresentation


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
Publication statusPublished - 3 Dec 2022
EventHong Kong Sociological Association 23rd Annual Conference : Health and Wellbeing in (Post-) Pandemic Times - Lingnan University, Tuen Mun, Hong Kong
Duration: 3 Dec 20223 Dec 2022
Conference number: 23


ConferenceHong Kong Sociological Association 23rd Annual Conference : Health and Wellbeing in (Post-) Pandemic Times
Country/TerritoryHong Kong
CityTuen Mun
OtherAs an unprecedented public health crisis, the COVID-19 pandemic has become the focal concern of sociologists around the world. Globally, there have been over six hundred million confirmed cases, including over six million of deaths. Over the past few years, we have experienced the tremendous impacts brought by the pandemic on various domains of life. Apart from infected and death cases, we have seen a surge of mental health issues, suicides, domestic violence, as well as plummeting economic growth and escalating unemployment and poverty rates. Whether to embrace the “new normal” by easing public health and social distancing measures is a contentious issue as much among world leaders as ordinary citizens. From a sociological perspective, most impacts brought by the pandemic are believed to be structural and long lasting. As not everyone has equal access to vaccines, personal protective equipment, healthcare and other resources, health and social inequalities are expected to be worsening. There are also concerns about the lack of affordable childcare and technological equipment for attending online classes during pandemic times, which would have lingering effects on education, digital, and social inequalities across generations.

Against this background, this conference aims to address the pressing issues of health and wellbeing in pandemic and post-pandemic times from a sociological perspective. It provides a platform for scholars, students, and other stakeholders to discuss the implications of the pandemic for health and social inequalities among other issues. On that basis, participants will explore practical and policy responses to enhance health and wellbeing in the (post-)pandemic condition.
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