Journal of Resources and Ecology ›› 2023, Vol. 14 ›› Issue (2): 299-308.DOI: 10.5814/j.issn.1674-764x.2023.02.008

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The Associations of Green Spaces with Older Adults’ Mental Health in Perspective of Spatiality, Sociality and Historicality

YUE Yafei1,2(), YANG Dongfeng1,*(), XU Dan3   

  1. 1. Department of Urban Planning, School of Architecture and Fine Art, Dalian University of Technology, Dalian, Liaoning 116024, China
    2. Department of Movement and Sports Sciences, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Ghent University, Ghent 9000, Belgium
    3. Design Institute of Civil Engineering and Architecture of Dalian University of Technology Co., LTD., Dalian, Liaoning 116024, China
  • Received:2022-03-14 Accepted:2022-06-25 Online:2023-03-30 Published:2023-02-21
  • Contact: YANG Dongfeng
  • About author:YUE Yafei, E-mail:
  • Supported by:
    The National Natural Science Foundation of China(52078095);The National Natural Science Foundation of China(51638003);The China Scholarship Council(202006060186)


The theory of health fairness requires that improving the benefits of green spaces on health should take into account the characteristics of vulnerable groups such as older adults. Until now, the comprehensive associations of green spaces metrics with older adults’ mental health are unclear in China. This study aimed to systematically assess their associations from the perspective of spatiality, sociality and historicality. Data of 879 respondents aged 60 or older in Dalian, China were used, and multilevel linear models were conducted in HLM6.08. Results indicated that in the spatial dimension, green spaces metrics derived from overhead view had a stronger association with older adults’ mental health than from street view. The park with gentle slopes and irregular boundaries was more positively related to older adults’ mental health. In the social dimension, green spaces could adjust and buffer the negative effects of socio-demographic characteristics such as having no homeownership. In the historical dimension, green spaces had a lasting effect on older adults’ mental health, especially for the group of middle income. Our findings confirm the necessity of multidimensional assessments for green spaces to examine associations with older adults’ mental health in Chinese settings. The results can provide empirical evidence for realizing fairer allocation of urban green spaces resources taking into account individual differences.

Key words: green spaces, street view, older adults, mental health, multilevel linear model