This article examines the change in psychological well-being among urban residents in Beijing, China, over a 10-year period of rapid social change. The findings suggest that urban reforms generate economic gains at the expense of urban residents' psychological well-being. Results from two community surveys conducted in 1991 and 2000 reveal that urban Beijing residents have experienced greater life stress and a rise in depressive symptoms during the 10-year period. The decline in psychological well-being between 1991 and 2000 can be partly explained by greater exposure of Beijing residents to life stressors in the course of rapid social changes associated with the urban reforms. The survey results also lend support to the social adjustment and stress explanation, but not the social relations and support explanation. Changes in social relations only marginally affect the change in depressive symptomatology, and the protective function of social relations, particularly relations with family and co-workers, has gained importance over the years.
Scopus Subject Areas
- Sociology and Political Science
- Social change
- Social relations
- Urban stress