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Social capital and mental health: An interdisciplinary review of primary evidence

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  • Almedom, Astier M.
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    Abstract

    An interdisciplinary interrogation of primary evidence linking social capital and mental health sought to establish: (1) 'quality of evidence' (assessed in terms of study design, methods used to address stated questions, rigor of data analysis, and logic and clarity of interpretation of results), and (2) applicability of the evidence to public health policy and practice with respect to mental health. It is found that social capital, a complex and compound construct, can be both an asset and a liability with respect to mental health of those in receipt of and those providing services and other interventions. The most meaningful assessment of social capital or components thereof may examine individual access to rather than possession of social capital, a property of groups, and therefore an ecological variable. Theoretical advances in research on social capital serve to identify mainly two types of social capital: bonding (between individuals in a group) and bridging (between groups). Each type of social capital has cognitive and/or structural component(s) and may operate at micro and/or macro level(s). Effective mental health policy and service provision may build or strengthen bridging social capital and benefit from both bonding and bridging social capital where either or both exist. Established indicators of social capital are amenable to quantitative and qualitative assessment, preferably in tandem. However studies that employ combined research design are rare or non-existent. Interdisciplinary multi-method investigations and analyses are called for in order to unravel mechanisms whereby social capital and mental health might be meaningfully associated.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Social Science & Medicine.

    Volume (Year): 61 (2005)
    Issue (Month): 5 (September)
    Pages: 943-964

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:61:y:2005:i:5:p:943-964

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    Keywords: Social capital Mental health Interdisciplinary research Mental health policy Health services;

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    Cited by:
    1. Thierry Debrand & Nicolas Sirven, 2008. "Promoting Social Participation for Healthy Ageing - A Counterfactual Analysis from the Survey of Health, Ageing, and Retirement in Europe (SHARE)," Working Papers DT7, IRDES institut for research and information in health economics, revised Jan 2008.
    2. Fredrica Nyqvist & Bernd Pape & Tony Pellfolk & Anna Forsman & Kristian Wahlbeck, 2014. "Structural and Cognitive Aspects of Social Capital and All-Cause Mortality: A Meta-Analysis of Cohort Studies," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 116(2), pages 545-566, April.
    3. Browne-Yung, Kathryn & Ziersch, Anna & Baum, Fran, 2013. "‘Faking til you make it’: Social capital accumulation of individuals on low incomes living in contrasting socio-economic neighbourhoods and its implications for health and wellbeing," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 85(C), pages 9-17.
    4. Flores, Elaine C. & Carnero, Andres M. & Bayer, Angela M., 2014. "Social capital and chronic post-traumatic stress disorder among survivors of the 2007 earthquake in Pisco, Peru," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 101(C), pages 9-17.
    5. Wind, Tim R. & Komproe, Ivan H., 2012. "The mechanisms that associate community social capital with post-disaster mental health: A multilevel model," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 75(9), pages 1715-1720.
    6. Browne-Yung, Kathryn & Ziersch, Anna & Baum, Fran & Gallaher, Gilbert, 2013. "Aboriginal Australians' experience of social capital and its relevance to health and wellbeing in urban settings," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 97(C), pages 20-28.
    7. Sujarwoto & Gindo Tampubolon, 2011. "Child health and mothers’ social capital in Indonesia through crisis," Brooks World Poverty Institute Working Paper Series 14911, BWPI, The University of Manchester.
    8. Saharnaz Nedjat & Reza Majdzadeh & Azita Kheiltash & Ensiyeh Jamshidi & Shahryar Yazdani, 2013. "Social Capital in Association with Socioeconomic Variables in Iran," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 113(3), pages 1153-1170, September.
    9. Favara, Marta, 2012. ""United we stand divided we fall": maternal social participation and children's nutritional status in Peru," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6264, The World Bank.
    10. Economou, Marina & Madianos, Michael & Peppou, Lily Evangelia & Souliotis, Kyriakos & Patelakis, Athanasios & Stefanis, Costas, 2014. "Cognitive social capital and mental illness during economic crisis: A nationwide population-based study in Greece," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 100(C), pages 141-147.
    11. Maria Pavlova & Rainer Silbereisen & Kamil Sijko, 2014. "Social Participation in Poland: Links to Emotional Well-Being and Risky Alcohol Consumption," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 117(1), pages 29-44, May.

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