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

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  • Fiorillo Damiano
  • Sabatini Fabio

Abstract

The public health literature focusing 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, besides 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 health. We point out the existence of health disparities based on socio-economic status. Poorer and less educated individuals are exposed to a higher probability of reporting poor health conditions. The risk is even worse for unemployed and retired workers. This paper contributes to the literature in two substantive dimensions. This is the first empirical study of the relationship between social interactions and health in Italy. Second, we add to previous studies by carrying out the first assessment of the role of satisfaction in interpersonal relations.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Department of Communication, University of Teramo in its series wp.comunite with number 0073.

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Date of creation: Mar 2011
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Handle: RePEc:ter:wpaper:0073

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Web page: http://wp.comunite.it/

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Keywords: Health; well-being; satisfaction; social interactions; social capital; family; Italy;

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Cited by:
  1. Sabatini, Fabio, 2011. "Can a click buy a little happiness? The impact of business-to-consumer e-commerce on subjective well-being," MPRA Paper 32393, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  2. Sabatini Fabio, 2011. "Who trusts Berlusconi? An econometric analysis of the role of television in the political arena," wp.comunite 0075, Department of Communication, University of Teramo.
  3. Sabatini, Fabio, 2011. "Democracy or videocracy? An econometric analysis of the role of television in the Italian political arena," MPRA Paper 31117, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  4. Sabatini, Fabio, 2011. "The relationship between happiness and health: evidence from Italy," MPRA Paper 30948, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  5. 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," Econometica Working Papers wp48, Econometica.
  6. Francesca Modena & Concetta Rondinelli & Fabio Sabatini, 2012. "Economic insecurity and fertility intentions: the case of Italy," EERI Research Paper Series EERI_RP_2012_18, Economics and Econometrics Research Institute (EERI), Brussels.
  7. Fabio Sabatini, 2012. "Who Trusts B erlusconi? An Econometric Analysis of the Role of Television in the Political Arena," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 65(1), pages 111-131, 02.

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