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Social capital and mental health: A comparative analysis of four low income countries

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  • De Silva, Mary J.
  • Huttly, Sharon R.
  • Harpham, Trudy
  • Kenward, Michael G.
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    Abstract

    Women and the poor are disproportionately affected by common mental disorders (CMD), and women in low income countries are particularly at risk. Social capital may explain some of the geographical variation in CMD, but the association between social capital and CMD in low income countries has rarely been studied. This paper aims to explore the relationship between individual and ecological measures of social capital and maternal CMD in four low income countries. Cross-sectional data from the Young Lives (YL) study with information across 234 communities in Peru, Ethiopia, Vietnam and Andhra Pradesh (India) were used. The mental health of mothers of one-year-old children (n=6909), and the individual cognitive and structural social capital of all respondents was assessed. Ecological social capital was calculated by aggregating individual responses to the community level. Multi-level modelling was used to explore the association between individual and ecological (community level) social capital and maternal CMD in each of the four countries, adjusting for a wide range of individual and community level confounders. The analysis shows that individual cognitive social capital is associated with reduced odds of CMD across all four countries. The results for structural social capital are more mixed and culturally specific, with some aspects associated with increased odds of CMD. This suggests that structural social capital has context-specific effects and cognitive social capital more universal effects on maternal CMD.

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    Bibliographic Info

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

    Volume (Year): 64 (2007)
    Issue (Month): 1 (January)
    Pages: 5-20

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:64:y:2007:i:1:p:5-20

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    Related research

    Keywords: Low income countries Social capital Mental health Depression Anxiety Women Mothers;

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    Cited by:
    1. Damiano Fiorillo & Fabio Sabatini, 2011. "Quality and quantity: The role of social interactions in individual health," Discussion Papers 2_2011, D.E.S. (Department of Economic Studies), University of Naples "Parthenope", Italy.
    2. Fiorillo, Damiano & Sabatini, Fabio, 2011. "Structural social capital and health in Italy," MPRA Paper 32367, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. 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.
    4. Sabatini, Fabio, 2011. "The relationship between happiness and health: evidence from Italy," MPRA Paper 30948, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    5. Adelman, Sarah, 2013. "Keep your friends close: The effect of local social networks on child human capital outcomes," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 103(C), pages 284-298.
    6. Fiorillo, Damiano, 2013. "Friends and health of the workers in Italy," MPRA Paper 44270, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    7. Brusilovskiy, Eugene & Salzer, Mark S., 2012. "A study of environmental influences on the well-being of individuals with psychiatric disabilities in Philadelphia, PA," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 74(10), pages 1591-1601.
    8. 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.
    9. Kim, Daniel & Baum, Christopher F. & Ganz, Michael L. & Subramanian, S.V. & Kawachi, Ichiro, 2011. "The contextual effects of social capital on health: A cross-national instrumental variable analysis," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 73(12), pages 1689-1697.
    10. 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.

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