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Measuring Social Capital in Hamilton, Ontario

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  • Peter Kitchen

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  • Allison Williams
  • Dylan Simone
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    Abstract

    Social capital has been studied by academics for more than 20 years and within the past decade there has been an explosion of growth in research linking social capital to health. This paper investigates social capital in Hamilton, Ontario by way of a telephone survey of 1,002 households in three neighbourhood groups representing high, mixed and low socio-economic status (SES). A Social Capital Measurement Tool is proposed as a straightforward way to account for differences in social capital perceptions and actions among residents. Consistent with the literature, the paper found that there was a strong association between social capital perceptions and health, particularly mental health and life stress. Social capital was greater in the high and mixed SES neighbourhoods and much weaker in the low SES neighbourhoods. With respect to social capital actions, both volunteering and voting was associated with positive overall health and mental health. Finally, the paper identified the social capital ‘elite’—respondents with high or above average perceptions and who participated in the two social capital actions—voting and volunteering. Prominent among the social capital elite in Hamilton is the ‘health wealthy’ senior, a positive development for the continued social well-being of the city. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s11205-012-0063-3
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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Springer in its journal Social Indicators Research.

    Volume (Year): 108 (2012)
    Issue (Month): 2 (September)
    Pages: 215-238

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    Handle: RePEc:spr:soinre:v:108:y:2012:i:2:p:215-238

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    Web page: http://www.springer.com/economics/journal/11135

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    Related research

    Keywords: Social capital; Health; Socio-economic status; Place of residence;

    References

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    Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
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    1. Peter Kitchen & Allison Williams & James Chowhan, 2012. "Sense of Community Belonging and Health in Canada: A Regional Analysis," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 107(1), pages 103-126, May.
    2. Snelgrove, John W. & Pikhart, Hynek & Stafford, Mai, 2009. "A multilevel analysis of social capital and self-rated health: Evidence from the British Household Panel Survey," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 68(11), pages 1993-2001, June.
    3. Rose, Richard, 2000. "How much does social capital add to individual health?A survey study of Russians," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 51(9), pages 1421-1435, November.
    4. Tiepoh, M. Geepu Nah & Reimer, Bill, 2004. "Social capital, information flows, and income creation in rural Canada: a cross-community analysis," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 33(4), pages 427-448, September.
    5. Kennelly, Brendan & O'Shea, Eamon & Garvey, Eoghan, 2003. "Social capital, life expectancy and mortality: a cross-national examination," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 56(12), pages 2367-2377, June.
    6. Giordano, Giuseppe N. & Lindstrom, Martin, 2010. "The impact of changes in different aspects of social capital and material conditions on self-rated health over time: A longitudinal cohort study," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 70(5), pages 700-710, March.
    7. Poortinga, Wouter, 2006. "Social capital: An individual or collective resource for health?," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 62(2), pages 292-302, January.
    8. Schultz, Jennifer & O'Brien, A. Maureen & Tadesse, Bedassa, 2008. "Social capital and self-rated health: Results from the US 2006 social capital survey of one community," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 67(4), pages 606-617, August.
    9. Veenstra, Gerry & Luginaah, Isaac & Wakefield, Sarah & Birch, Stephen & Eyles, John & Elliott, Susan, 2005. "Who you know, where you live: social capital, neighbourhood and health," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 60(12), pages 2799-2818, June.
    10. Veenstra, Gerry, 2000. "Social capital, SES and health: an individual-level analysis," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 50(5), pages 619-629, March.
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