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Title: Loneliness in urbanizing China
Authors: Chen, J 
Gong, L 
Issue Date: May-2022
Source: Health and social care in the community, May 2022, v. 30, no. 3, p. e812-e822
Abstract: Despite the growing literature on loneliness, little attention has been paid to the impact of broader changes in social structure and environment on individuals’ experience of loneliness. Drawing on data from the 2018 Urbanization and Quality of Life Survey (N = 3,229) conducted in 40 localities undergoing rural–urban transition in China, this study investigates how measures of urbanisation (including population density, duration of urban status, neighbourhood transition and housing type) are associated with residents’ loneliness. We revised measures of the six-item De Jong Gierveld Loneliness Scale, differentiated between emotional and social loneliness, estimated multi-level mixed-effects regressions and controlled for a number of individual-level covariates. The results show that emotional loneliness and social loneliness have different patterns of association with multi-level covariates: urbanisation at county, township and neighbourhood levels is significantly associated with emotional loneliness, whereas residence in temporary housing is a clear risk factor for social loneliness. The analyses further demonstrate that the revised measures of loneliness address concerns about the original scale, offer a clearer sense of the degrees of loneliness and are strongly associated with multi-level covariates and psychological distress. In addition to showing how urbanisation leads to greater individual loneliness, our research also illustrates how to model locational parameters in analyses of individual well-being.
Keywords: China
De Jong Gierveld Loneliness Scale
Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell
Journal: Health and social care in the community 
ISSN: 0966-0410
EISSN: 1365-2524
DOI: 10.1111/hsc.13451
Rights: © 2021 John Wiley & Sons Ltd
This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Chen, J, Gong, L. Loneliness in urbanising China. Health Soc Care Community. 2022; 30: e812–e822, which has been published in final form at This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Use of Self-Archived Versions. This article may not be enhanced, enriched or otherwise transformed into a derivative work, without express permission from Wiley or by statutory rights under applicable legislation. Copyright notices must not be removed, obscured or modified. The article must be linked to Wiley’s version of record on Wiley Online Library and any embedding, framing or otherwise making available the article or pages thereof by third parties from platforms, services and websites other than Wiley Online Library must be prohibited.
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