|Title||Does Education Influence Life-Course Depression in Middle-Aged and Elderly in China? Evidence from the China Health and Retirement Longitudinal Study (CHARLS)|
|Publication Type||Journal Article|
|Year of Publication||2023|
|Authors||Xu, X, Zhou, Y, Su, D, Dang, Y, Zhang, X|
|Journal||International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health|
|Keywords||CHARLS, China, depression, Elderly, middle-aged|
Mental health problems have become a major public health problem worldwide and are more common among middle-aged and elderly people in China. Research on the effect of education on depression is limited, and whether the relationship between education and depression changes over the life course remains unclear. This study was based on the cross-sectional data of 15,767 middle-aged and elderly individuals in the 2018 tracking survey (Wave 4) of the China Health and Retirement Longitudinal Study (CHARLS) database. Multiple linear regression and bootstrap methods were developed to detect the mediating effect of education on depression. In all samples or different age groups, education was significantly positively associated with depression. Three mediators (economic level, health-related lifestyle, and cognitive level) were significantly positively associated with depression, and cognitive level had a greater effect on depression than economic level and health-related lifestyle. The total, direct, and indirect effects of the whole samples and elderly samples were significant; however, the direct effect of the middle-aged samples was insignificant, and the total and indirect effects of the three mediating pathways were all significant, that is, economic level, health-related lifestyle, and cognitive level should produce complete mediation. The multiple linear regression and bootstrap methods could successfully detect the mediating effect of education on depression. On the basis of the education, economic level, health-related lifestyle, cognitive level, and depression of middle-aged and elderly people, we established and compared the total, direct, and mediating effects of education on depression under the life course. The mediating variables should be further increased, and the measurement methods of depression should be developed to improve the credibility of the research results.