BMC Public Health. 2022 Dec 27;22(1):2439. doi: 10.1186/s12889-022-14711-7.
BACKGROUND: Population aging has led to depression becoming a serious public health problem both in China and worldwide. Marital relationships, relationships with their children, and air pollution might play an important role in the process of depressive disorders. In this study, we aimed to reveal the mechanism of the effects of these factors on depression.
METHODS: Participants were recruited from The China Health and Retirement Longitudinal Study (CHARLS) (wave 4) from July 2018 to March 2019. Depression symptoms were evaluated using the 10-item Center for Epidemiologic Studies depression scale (CESD-10). Marital relationships, relationships with their children, air quality satisfaction, and perceived health status were analyzed using Likert 5-point evaluation methods. Structural equation modeling-path (SEM) models were used to explore these variables’ mediation effects on depression symptoms.
RESULTS: Marital relationships, relationships with their children, air quality satisfaction, perceived health status, and depression symptoms were significantly associated with each other (P < 0.001). Mediation analysis showed that family relationships (standardized beta = -0.28 [-0.31, -0.26]) and quality satisfaction (standardized beta = -0.03 [-0.05, -0.01]) had negative effects on depression symptoms. The total indirect effects of family relationships and air quality satisfaction on depression symptoms were -0.06 (95% confidence interval (CI) = [-0.07, -0.05]) and -0.016 (95% CI = [-0.02, -0.01]), respectively.
CONCLUSION: Family relationships, air quality satisfaction, and perceived health status influenced depression symptoms. The effects of family relationships and air quality satisfaction on depression symptoms were significantly mediated by perceived health status. Therefore, perceived health status aspects should be considered when conducting targeted intervention toward depression symptoms among middle-aged and elderly adults.