Individual educational attainment, neighborhood-socioeconomic contexts, and self-rated health of middle-aged and elderly Chinese: Exploring the mediating role of social engagement

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Analyzing the 2011–2013 China Health and Retirement Longitudinal Study with 14,507 respondents from 393 neighborhoods, and applying generalized linear mixed-effects model, this study examines how individual-level education and neighborhood-socioeconomic contexts affect health through social engagement. Findings reveal that measures of social engagement—social activity and productive activity—are significantly related to self-rated health and partially mediate the effects of individual-level education. Neighborhood-socioeconomic contexts have independent effects on self-rated health beyond individual socio-demographics, and social activity mediates the effects of neighborhood recreational facilities. This study is among the first to simultaneously explore the health effects of individual and neighborhood-level socioeconomic conditions.HighlightsSocial engagement is significantly related to self-rated health.Social engagement mediates the effects of individual educational attainment.Neighborhood socioeconomic contexts have independent effects of self-rated health.

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