2017 Volume 11 Issue 5 Pages 516-523
It has been hypothesized that subjective well-being (SWB) is determined by a combination of individual characteristics, social environment, and physical environment. However, few studies have simultaneously examined the relationships of the social and physical attributes of a neighborhood with SWB. Accordingly, the present study aimed to examine these relationships among Chinese elders. A total of 2,719 elders aged 60 years or older were recruited from 47 neighborhoods in the Xinhua subdistrict of Shanghai by two-stage stratified random sampling and interviewed between July and September 2014. The social and physical attributes of each neighborhood were assessed using validated and psychometrically tested measures. The Chinese version of the international Personal Wellbeing Index was used to assess SWB. Control variables included sex, age, marital status, education level, years living in the neighborhood, self-rated health, chronic conditions, and leisure-time physical activity. Multilevel linear regression analysis was conducted to explore whether social and physical attributes were associated with SWB. The average level of SWB was 74.2 ± 15.7% of the scale maximum. After controlling for individual covariates, individual-level social cohesion and social interaction were positively correlated with SWB, and both individual-level and neighborhood-level aesthetic quality was positively correlated with SWB. In conclusion, both social and physical attributes of neighborhoods were associated with SWB among Chinese elderly. These findings suggest that creating aesthetic and cohesive neighborhoods may encourage Chinese elders to participate in social activities and promote their SWB.