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

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)151-170
Journal / PublicationSocial Behavior and Personality
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1998


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 studies tended to demonstrate the mediating role of social support, they employed samples of college students only. By contrast, the present study investigates 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 relations, characterized by social problems and social support. The perception and social relations 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, this study reveals 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. © Society for Personality Research (Inc.).