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Social relations or social capital? Individual and community health effects of bonding social capital

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  • Poortinga, Wouter
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    Abstract

    Social capital has become one of the most popular topics in public health research in recent years. However, even after a decade of conceptual and empirical work on this subject, there is still considerable disagreement about whether bonding social capital is a collective resource that benefits communities or societies, or whether its health benefits are associated with people, their personal networks and support. Using data from the 2000 and 2002 Health Survey for England this study found that, in line with earlier research, personal levels of social support contribute to a better self-reported health status. The study also suggests that social capital is additionally important for people's health. In both datasets the aggregate social trust variable was significantly related to self-rated health before and after controlling for differences in socio-demographics and/or individual levels of social support. The results were corroborated in the second dataset with an alternative indicator of social capital. These results show that bonding social capital collectively contributes to people's self-rated health over and above the beneficial effects of personal social networks and support.

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    Bibliographic Info

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

    Volume (Year): 63 (2006)
    Issue (Month): 1 (July)
    Pages: 255-270

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:63:y:2006:i:1:p:255-270

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    Related research

    Keywords: Social capital Social support Self-rated health Multilevel modelling Health survey for England UK;

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    Cited by:
    1. Sabatini, F;, 2011. "The relationship between happiness and health: evidence from Italy," Health, Econometrics and Data Group (HEDG) Working Papers 11/07, HEDG, c/o Department of Economics, University of York.
    2. Eiji Yamamura, 2011. "Differences in the effect of social capital on health status between workers and non-workers," International Review of Economics, Springer, vol. 58(4), pages 385-400, December.
    3. Damiano Fiorillo & Fabio Sabatini, 2011. "Structural social capital and health in Italy," Discussion Papers 8_2011, D.E.S. (Department of Economic Studies), University of Naples "Parthenope", Italy.
    4. Giordano, Giuseppe Nicola & Björk, Jonas & Lindström, Martin, 2012. "Social capital and self-rated health – A study of temporal (causal) relationships," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 75(2), pages 340-348.
    5. 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.
    6. Fiorillo Damiano & Sabatini Fabio, 2011. "Quality and quantity: The role of social interactions in individual health," wp.comunite 0073, Department of Communication, University of Teramo.
    7. Sehee Han & Heaseung Kim & Hee-Sun Lee, 2013. "A Multilevel Analysis of the Compositional and Contextual Association of Social Capital and Subjective Well-Being in Seoul, South Korea," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 111(1), pages 185-202, March.
    8. 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.
    9. Fiorillo, Damiano & Sabatini, Fabio, 2011. "Quality and quantity: The role of social interactions in self-reported individual health," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 73(11), pages 1644-1652.
    10. Verhaeghe, Pieter-Paul & Tampubolon, Gindo, 2012. "Individual social capital, neighbourhood deprivation, and self-rated health in England," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 75(2), pages 349-357.
    11. Eriksson, Malin & Emmelin, Maria, 2013. "What constitutes a health-enabling neighborhood? A grounded theory situational analysis addressing the significance of social capital and gender," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 97(C), pages 112-123.
    12. Sehee Han & Heaseung Kim & Eung-Sun Lee & Hee-Sun Lee, 2013. "The Contextual and Compositional Associations of Social Capital and Subjective Happiness: A Multilevel Analysis from Seoul, South Korea," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 14(4), pages 1183-1200, August.
    13. 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.

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