Mental health of urban residents in the developed cities of the Yangtze River Delta in China: Measurement with the mental composite scale from the WHOQOL-BREF

  • Jing An
  • Siwei Wang
  • Mingwang Cheng
  • Tan Li
  • Liying Sheng
  • Shu BianEmail author
  • Xianlin NiEmail author
  • Jun YaoEmail author
  • Changluan FuEmail author
  • Jinlong An


This paper aims to explore the reliability, validity and influence of demographics on mental health measured by the mental composite scale from the World Health Organization Quality of Life-BREF (WHOQOL-BREF) among Chinese urban residents. Participants were 971 young and middle-aged urban residents in six developed cities of Yangtze River Delta. Exploratory factor analysis was used to identify the potential factor structure of the mental composite scale. Confirmatory factor analysis was employed to evaluate the goodness of fit of the factor structure model. And logistic regression model was conducted to analyze the demographic effect. The results showed that the mental composite scale had a satisfactory reliability and validity, and the three-factor structure model had an acceptable goodness of fit. Furthermore, it indicated that annual income was the significant indicator of mental health. Participants who had earned between RMB50,000 - RMB100,000 annually were more likely to report better mental health than those with annual income less than RMB10,000. It demonstrated therefore that the mental composite scale selected from the WHOQOL-BREF was an appropriate instrument to measure the mental health of Chinese urban residents in the Yangtze River Delta region.


Mental health WHOQOL-BREF Factor structure Urban residents Demographics 



We would like to thank Liying Sheng, Shu Bian, Xianlin Ni, Jun Yao, and Changluan Fu for their contribution to the revised version of our manuscript. We also wish to thank Guoshen Chen, Kaisong Wu, and Shu Zhang for their help in the previous version of the manuscript.


This study was supported by the key project of National Social Science Fund (16AZZ014), a project of Jiangsu Social Science Fund (17XZB007), a project of Liaoning Social Science Planning Fund (L14DJY066), and supported by Jiangsu Provincial Department of Education for Overseas Research Program of Jiangsu Universities.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

Author Jing An declares that he/she has no conflict of interest. Author Siwei Wang declares that he/she has no conflict of interest. Author Mingwang Cheng declares that he/she has no conflict of interest. Author Tan Li declares that he/she has no conflict of interest. Author Liying Sheng declares that he/she has no conflict of interest. Author Shu Bian declares that he/she has no conflict of interest. Author Xianlin Ni declares that he/she has no conflict of interest. Author Jun Yao declares that he/she has no conflict of interest. Author Changluan Fu declares that he/she has no conflict of interest. Author Jinlong An declares that he/she has no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Economics and ManagementChangzhou Institute of TechnologyChangzhouChina
  2. 2.School of Social and Behavioral SciencesNanjing UniversityNanjingChina
  3. 3.Business SchoolThe University of AucklandAucklandNew Zealand
  4. 4.Department of Civil LawThe Open University of Guangdong (Guangdong Polytechnic Institute)GuangzhouChina
  5. 5.School of Economics and ManagementTongji UniversityShanghaiChina
  6. 6.Research Center for Data Science and Economic and Social development of Changzhou Academy of Social Sciences, School of Economics and ManagementChangzhou Institute of TechnologyChangzhouChina
  7. 7.College of Economics and ManagementShenyang Agricultural UniversityShenyangChina
  8. 8.Institute of Population ResearchLiaoning UniversityShenyangChina
  9. 9.National Research Base for Civil Affairs Policy and TheoryNanjing Normal UniversityNanjingChina
  10. 10.School of Health Policy and ManagementNanjing Medical UniversityNanjingChina
  11. 11.Economics and Management SchoolHangzhou Normal UniversityHangzhouChina
  12. 12.Changshu No. 1 People’s HospitalChangshuChina

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