The influences of “downward” intergenerational support on mental health of the urban and rural elderly in China: the moderating effects of cognitive evaluation

SUN Juanjuan1 JI Yun2,3

(1.Center for Population and Development Studies, Institute of Gerontology, Renmin University of China)
(2.Department of Psychology, Langfang Teachers University)
(3.Institute of Gerontology, Renmin University of China)

【Abstract】Based on 2014 China Longitudinal Aging Social Survey, this paper adopts linear regression models to explore how the “giving” behavior of the elderly has affected their mental health and how their cognitive evaluation has moderated the relationship between the support behavior and mental health. The results show that, giving financial and housework support to adult children is positively correlated to their mental health, but such support has negative effects on their mental health in the case of excessive demands from adult children. The cognitive evaluation of the urban elderly significantly moderates the influence direction of taking care of grandchildren on their mental health, while that of the rural elderly significantly moderates the influence direction of “downward” financial support on their mental health. The results also support the ABC Emotion Theory. Therefore, under the background of advocating active ageing and improving the elderly’ s role in the family, it is important to alleviate the burden of taking care of grandchildren for the urban elderly and ease the burden of financial support for the rural elderly, in order to maintain their mental health.

【Keywords】 the elderly; family; intergenerational support; mental health; cognitive evaluation;


【Funds】 National Natural Science Foundation of China (71490731); National Social Science Foundation of China (13CRK010);

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(Translated by GENG yuanjie)


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This Article


CN: 11-1489/C

Vol 41, No. 06, Pages 98-109

November 2017


Article Outline



  • 1 Theoretical foundation and literature review
  • 2 Data and variable
  • 3 Analysis result
  • 4 Conclusion and discussion
  • References