Household Assets, the Role of Government Assistance, and Depression Among Low-Income Families in Shanghai

Shiyou Wu, Mimi V. Chapman, Meihua Zhu, Xiafei Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

As China’s economy is rapidly changing from a planned to a capitalist economy, many families find themselves financially struggling. In some cases, conflicting values and attitudes may contribute to mental health challenges such as depression that would lead to further feelings of helplessness and immobilization. Using a random sample of 1006 low-income households from Pudong District of Shanghai, China, this study aims to examine the relationships between household assets, beliefs about government as the primary way to improve economic circumstances and self-reported depressive symptoms. In addition, this study investigates the mediation effects of beliefs that government is the best change agent for improved life circumstances on the relationship between household assets and depression. We found those who indicated that government was the main means for attaining a better life had significantly higher depression levels whereas higher numbers of household assets were associated with lower depression levels. We also found that viewing government as the most important change agent only partially mediated the relationship between household assets and depression (p <.001). Findings from this study support anti-poverty policies and social work related practice initiatives aimed at assisting low income families in China, in particular the need to address psychological as well as economic needs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalSocial Indicators Research
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2020

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assets
low income
assistance
Depression
China
Economics
economy
random sample
mediation
Poverty
economics
Social Work
social work
Immobilization
mental health
Household
Government
Shanghai
Income
district

Keywords

  • China
  • Depression
  • Government assistance
  • Household assets
  • Low income
  • Poverty

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Social Sciences(all)

Cite this

Household Assets, the Role of Government Assistance, and Depression Among Low-Income Families in Shanghai. / Wu, Shiyou; Chapman, Mimi V.; Zhu, Meihua; Wang, Xiafei.

In: Social Indicators Research, 01.01.2020.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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