Effect of Poverty on Mental Health of Children in Rural China: The Mediating Role of Social Capital

Chunkai Li, Qiaobing Wu, Zurong Liang

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


This study aimed to investigate the effect of poverty on children’s mental health and the mediating role of social capital in their family, peer, school, and community level. Data used in this study were collected in 2015 from a school-based survey of 1314 children in grades 4–9 through a multi-stage cluster random sampling method in Xiushui, a poverty-stricken city in Mainland China. The result of structural equation modeling indicated that poverty elicited a significant predictive effect on children’s negative and positive mental health. Family social capital and peer social capital played intermediary effects between poverty and children’s mental health. However, the mediating effects of school and community social capital are not significant. The implications of these findings on theory, social policy, and social work services were also discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-23
Number of pages23
JournalApplied Research in Quality of Life
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 27 Dec 2017


  • Children
  • Mental health
  • Poverty
  • Social capital

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Life-span and Life-course Studies

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