Depression, loneliness, and health in an adverse living environment: A study of bedspace residents in Hong Kong

Chau-Kiu Cheung1, Kwan-Kwok Leung1, Wing-Tai Chan1, Kun Ma1
1City University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong
Cite this article:  Cheung, C.-K., Leung, K.-K., Chan, W.-T., & Ma, K. (1998). Depression, loneliness, and health in an adverse living environment: A study of bedspace residents in Hong Kong. Social Behavior and Personality: An international journal, 26(2), 151-170.

Volume 26 Issue 2 | e919 | Published: May 1998 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.2224/sbp.1998.26.2.151

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Issues concerning deleterious effects of an adverse living environment, characterized by crowded, noisy, and dirty conditions, have been debatable. One way out of this debate is delineating paths through which the living environment affects outcome variables. The resident’s perception of the environment and social relation may lead to such paths. While past researchers tended to demonstrate the mediating role of social support, they employed samples of college students only. By contrast, in the present study we investigated the mediating processes with a sample of 122 bedspace residents in Hong Kong. Results of hierarchical modeling illustrate that the adverse living environment affected the resident’s psychosocial well-being indirectly. Notably, the objective living environment was related to the resident’s perception of the environment, which in turn was related to social relationships, characterized by social problems and social support. The perception and social relationships were then related to the resident’s depressive affect and loneliness. However, the adverse living environment did not have significant direct and mediated effects on the resident’s self-assessed health. Besides, in this study we revealed that stressful status, including having a criminal record, being divorced, and the duration of unemployment, tended to be deleterious to the resident’s psychosocial and physical well-being.


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