Though prior research has attempted to understand the impact of rural residence in early life on later mortality, the role of social integration and social support in explaining the residential mortality gap remains unclear. We first use the inverse probability treatment weighting method to address the potential selection bias in the data and then apply the complementary log–log modelling to a unique person-wave data drawn from the Americans' Changing Lives study. The results indicate that (a) respondents living in small-towns (i.e., rural areas) after childhood have a lower risk of death than those living in either suburban areas or central cities, (b) including social integration and social support in the analysis further widens the gaps between small-town respondents and central city participants, and (c) social integration and social support have opposite effects on mortality. Social integration and social support are important in shaping health, but they cannot explain the rural mortality advantage.
- social integration
- social support