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Social capital and sense of insecurity in the neighbourhood: a population-based multilevel analysis in Malmö, Sweden

  • Lindström, Martin
  • Merlo, Juan
  • Östergren, Per-Olof
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    The aim of this study was to investigate the influence of social capital on self-reported sense of insecurity in the neighbourhood. The public health survey in Malmö, Sweden in 1994 was a cross-sectional study. A total of 5600 individuals aged 20-80 years were asked to answer a postal questionnaire. The participation rate was 71%. A multilevel logistic regression model, with individuals at the first level and neighbourhoods at the second, was performed. We analysed the effect (intra-area correlation, cross-level modification and odds ratios) of individual (social participation) and neighbourhood social capital (electoral participation in the 1994 municipal election) on sense of insecurity after adjustment for compositional factors. Neighbourhood factors accounted for 7.2% of the total variance in individual insecurity. This effect was marginally reduced when the individual factors were included in the model. In contrast, it was reduced by 70% by the introduction of the contextual variable. This study suggests that social capital, measured as electoral participation, may partly explain the individual's sense of insecurity in the neighbourhood.

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

    Volume (Year): 56 (2003)
    Issue (Month): 5 (March)
    Pages: 1111-1120

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:56:y:2003:i:5:p:1111-1120
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