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Contextual social capital as a risk factor for poor self-rated health: A multilevel analysis

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  • Engström, Karin
  • Mattsson, Fredrik
  • Järleborg, Anders
  • Hallqvist, Johan
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    Abstract

    In this study, we critically examine whether contextual social capital (CSC) is associated with self-rated health, with an emphasis on the problem of confounding. We also examine different components of CSC and their association with self-rated health. Finally, we look at differences in susceptibility between different socio-demographic groups. We use the cross-sectional base line study of the Stockholm Public Health Cohort, conducted in 2002. A postal questionnaire was answered by 31,182 randomly selected citizens, 18-84 years old, in Stockholm County. We used four measures of social capital: horizontal (civic trust and participation), vertical (political trust and participation), cognitive (civic and political trust) and structural (civic and political participation). CSC was measured at parish level from aggregated individual data, and multilevel regression procedures were employed. We show a twofold greater risk of poor self-rated health in areas with very low CSC compared with areas with very high CSC. Adjustments for individual socio-demographic factors, contextual economic factors and individual social capital lowered the excess risk. Simultaneous adjustment for all three forms of confounding further weakened the association and rendered it insignificant. Cognitive and structural social capital show relatively similar associations with self-rated health, while horizontal CSC seems to be more strongly related to self-rated health than vertical CSC. In conclusion, whether there is none or a moderate association between CSC and self-rated health, depends on the extent to which individual social capital is seen as a mediator or confounder. The association with self-rated health is similar independent of the measure of CSC used. It is also similar in different socio-demographic groups.

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    Bibliographic Info

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

    Volume (Year): 66 (2008)
    Issue (Month): 11 (June)
    Pages: 2268-2280

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:66:y:2008:i:11:p:2268-2280

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    Related research

    Keywords: Sweden Social capital Self-rated health Multi-level modelling Area effects;

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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. D. Fiorillo; & F. Sabatini;, 2011. "Structural social capital and health in Italy," Health, Econometrics and Data Group (HEDG) Working Papers 11/23, HEDG, c/o Department of Economics, University of York.
    3. Julia Hauberer & Alexander Tatarko, 2014. "Network Composition, Individual Social Capital And Culture: Comparing Traditional And Post-Modernized Ethnic Groups," HSE Working papers WP BRP 38/SOC/2014, National Research University Higher School of Economics.
    4. Fiorillo, Damiano & Sabatini, Fabio, 2011. "Quality and quantity: the role of social interactions in individual health," AICCON Working Papers 84-2011, Associazione Italiana per la Cultura della Cooperazione e del Non Profit.
    5. 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.
    6. 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.
    7. L. Rocco; & F. Elena; & M. Suhrcke;, 2011. "From social capital to health - and back," Health, Econometrics and Data Group (HEDG) Working Papers 11/21, HEDG, c/o Department of Economics, University of York.
    8. 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.
    9. 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.
    10. Ryvicker, Miriam & Gallo, William T. & Fahs, Marianne C., 2012. "Environmental factors associated with primary care access among urban older adults," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 75(5), pages 914-921.
    11. Murayama, Hiroshi & Wakui, Tomoko & Arami, Reiko & Sugawara, Ikuko & Yoshie, Satoru, 2012. "Contextual effect of different components of social capital on health in a suburban city of the greater Tokyo area: A multilevel analysis," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 75(12), pages 2472-2480.

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