Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:
PIRA download icon_1.1View/Download Full Text
Title: Psychological distress in urbanizing China : how does local government effectiveness matter?
Authors: Chen, J 
Gong, L 
Xie, S
Issue Date: 2-Feb-2021
Source: International journal of environmental research and public health, 2 Feb. 2021, v. 18, no. 4, 2042, p. 1-16
Abstract: Despite growing literature identifying key individual, family, community, and environmental factors as causes for mental disorders during the process of urbanization, the role played by local government has not been taken into account. In this article, we investigate how the effectiveness of local government affects residents’ levels of psychological distress in areas of China undergoing urbanization. We measure the effectiveness of local governments according to their success in promoting access to the social security system through the distribution of social security cards among citizens. We hypothesize that higher local government effectiveness will reduce residents’ psychological distress by alleviating worries about medical expenses and elder care. Drawing on data from the 2018 Urbanization and Quality of Life Survey (N = 3229) conducted in 40 localities undergoing rural–urban transition, we estimate three-level mixed-effects regression models to test the research hypotheses, allowing random effects at the township/county and neighborhood levels while controlling for a series of individual attributes. The results demonstrate that local government effectiveness is negatively associated with residents’ psychological distress: effective local governments alleviate worries about medical expenses and elder care, and thereby reduce psychological distress. The findings indicate that, to reduce residents’ worries and psychological distress during the process of rural–urban transition, it is essential to improve local government effectiveness, particularly in promoting residents’ access to the social security system. Beyond demonstrating how local government effectiveness matters for residents’ psychological distress, our research also illustrates how to properly model locational parameters in analyses of individual well-being.
Keywords: Psychological distress
Government effectiveness
Publisher: Molecular Diversity Preservation International (MDPI)
Journal: International journal of environmental research and public health 
ISSN: 1661-7827
EISSN: 1660-4601
DOI: 10.3390/ijerph18042042
Rights: © 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CCBY) license (
The following publication Chen, J., Gong, L., & Xie, S. (2021). Psychological Distress in Urbanizing China: How Does Local Government Effectiveness Matter?. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 18(4), 2042 is available at
Appears in Collections:Journal/Magazine Article

Files in This Item:
File Description SizeFormat 
ijerph-18-02042.pdf324.4 kBAdobe PDFView/Open
Open Access Information
Status open access
File Version Version of Record
View full-text via PolyU eLinks SFX Query
Show full item record

Page views

Last Week
Last month
Citations as of Jul 14, 2024


Citations as of Jul 14, 2024


Citations as of Jul 18, 2024


Citations as of Jul 18, 2024

Google ScholarTM



Items in DSpace are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.