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The mediating role of individual-level social capital among worries, mental health and subjective well-being among adults in Hong Kong during the COVID-19 pandemic

Authors
  • Chan, Siu-Ming1, 2
  • Chung, Gary Ka-Ki1
  • Chan, Yat-Hang1
  • Woo, Jean1, 1
  • Yeoh, Eng Kiong1, 1
  • Chung, Roger Yat-Nork1, 1, 1
  • Wong, Samuel Yeung-Shan1, 1
  • Marmot, Michael1, 3
  • Lee, Richard Wai-Tong1, 1
  • Wong, Hung1, 1
  • 1 The Chinese University of Hong Kong,
  • 2 The City University of Hong Kong,
  • 3 UCL Institute of Health Equity,
Type
Published Article
Journal
Current Psychology
Publisher
Springer US
Publication Date
Sep 23, 2021
Pages
1–11
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1007/s12144-021-02316-z
PMID: 34580570
PMCID: PMC8459135
Source
PubMed Central
Keywords
Disciplines
  • Article
License
Unknown

Abstract

The COVID-19 pandemic has substantially induced worries and affected individual mental health and subjective well-being. Nonetheless, a high level of social capital could potentially protect individuals who suffer from mental health problems and thus promote their subjective well-being, especially under the social distancing policies during the pandemic. To this end, based on a random sample of 1053 Hong Kong adults, structural equation modeling was applied to study the path relationships between the worries of COVID-19, social capital, mental health problems, and subjective well-being. The study found that worries during the pandemic were associated with mental health and subjective well-being, through social capital as a mediator. Moreover, social capital exhibited a stronger influence on mental health and subjective well-being in the economically inactive group than in the economically active group. This study highlights the important role of social capital during the COVID-19 pandemic. While Hong Kong’s COVID-19 response has primarily focused on disease prevention, it must be noted that social services and mutual-help activities are also crucial for people to withstand the crisis.

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