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Quality and quantity: The role of social interactions in self-reported individual health

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  • Fiorillo, Damiano
  • Sabatini, Fabio

Abstract

The public health literature on the detrimental effects of social isolation has shown that the quantity of social connections is positively correlated with individual health. Drawing on pooled cross-sectional data, we test this hypothesis on a representative sample of the Italian population. Our findings show that, in addition to the quantity of interactions, it is their quality – as measured by subjective satisfaction derived from relationships with friends – that works as the best predictor of self-reported health. The frequency of meetings with friends is significantly and positively correlated with good health in all regressions. However, when we add our measure of the quality of relationships to the probit equations, the statistical significance of “quantitative” measures is scaled down. Satisfaction with relationships with friends exhibits a positive and highly significant coefficient. Results of the multivariate probit analysis point out the potential role of unobservable variables suggesting the existence of endogeneity problems which require further investigation.

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Bibliographic Info

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

Volume (Year): 73 (2011)
Issue (Month): 11 ()
Pages: 1644-1652

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Handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:73:y:2011:i:11:p:1644-1652

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Related research

Keywords: Health; Well-being; Satisfaction; Social interactions; Social capital; Italy; Self-reported health;

References

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Giacomo, Degli Antoni & Fabio, Sabatini, 2013. "Disentangling the relationship between nonprofit and social capital: the role of social cooperatives and social welfare associations in the development of networks of strong and weak ties," MPRA Paper 44860, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  2. Fiorillo, Damiano & Nappo, Nunzia, 2014. "Formal and informal volunteering and health across European countries," MPRA Paper 54130, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  3. Fiorillo, Damiano, 2013. "Friends and health of the workers in Italy," MPRA Paper 44270, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  4. Cortés Aguilar, Alexandra & Moro-Egido, Ana I. & Ateca Amestoy, Victoria María, 2011. "Social Interactions and Subjective Well-Being: Evidence from Latin America," DFAEII Working Papers 2011-05, University of the Basque Country - Department of Foundations of Economic Analysis II.

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