Experiencing a Forced Relocation at Different Life Stages: The Effects of China's Three Gorges Project–induced Relocation on Depression

Academic Article


  • Guided by the life course perspective and the stress severity perspective, this study aims to evaluate the question: Does the Three Gorges Project–induced relocation affect people of different ages differently? Using a quasi-experimental design, we collected pre- and post-relocation data from a sample (n = 1,056) that consists of both relocatees and nonmovers from the Three Gorges region in China. We found that relocatees of all age groups have experienced a similar level of elevation of depressive symptoms due to the relocation. No age group was exempted from the detrimental effects of the Three Gorges Project–induced relocation. Although it is usually much easier for young adults to relocate, as compared to older adults, a forced relocation is such an extraordinary stressor that its strong effects have overridden other forces that normally shape our life experiences at different life stages. © 2012, American Sociological Association. All rights reserved.
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    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Xi J; Hwang SS; Drentea P
  • Start Page

  • 59
  • End Page

  • 76
  • Volume

  • 3
  • Issue

  • 1