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An examination of social capital and social disorganisation in neighbourhoods in the British household panel study


  • McCulloch, Andrew


Recent developments in social science research suggest that social environmental factors may be important for explaining community variations in health. We investigate the structural sources of two mechanisms that produce community variations in health. Using survey data collected from a representative cross-section of British households we examine variations in neighbourhood social capital and neighbourhood social disorganisation across a sample of British neighbourhoods. Adjusting for respondent's attributes, we assess the effects of neighbourhood characteristics measured by the 1991 census in Britain. The results show that concentrated affluence, residential instability and ethnic heterogeneity predict social capital for women. Population density is the only neighbourhood characteristic to predict social capital for men. For both men and women concentrated disadvantage and population density are associated with social disorganisation. Residential instability is additionally associated with social disorganisation for women. For women it was found that neighbourhood characteristics interact with individual social class in accounting for variations in social capital, the effects of neighbourhood characteristics being larger for those in professional and managerial and skilled non-manual occupations. The results show that neighbourhood structural characteristics influence social organisation processes. This helps establish a link between the structural characteristics of neighbourhoods and individual health outcomes.

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  • McCulloch, Andrew, 2003. "An examination of social capital and social disorganisation in neighbourhoods in the British household panel study," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 56(7), pages 1425-1438, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:56:y:2003:i:7:p:1425-1438

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    Cited by:

    1. Mark Montgomery & Paul Hewett, 2005. "Urban poverty and health in developing countries: Household and neighborhood Effects," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 42(3), pages 397-425, August.
    2. Grady, Sue C., 2006. "Racial disparities in low birthweight and the contribution of residential segregation: A multilevel analysis," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 63(12), pages 3013-3029, December.
    3. Messer, Lynne C. & Vinikoor, Lisa C. & Laraia, Barbara A. & Kaufman, Jay S. & Eyster, Janet & Holzman, Claudia & Culhane, Jennifer & Elo, Irma & Burke, Jessica G. & O'Campo, Patricia, 2008. "Socioeconomic domains and associations with preterm birth," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 67(8), pages 1247-1257, October.
    4. Franzini, Luisa & Caughy, Margaret & Spears, William & Eugenia Fernandez Esquer, Maria, 2005. "Neighborhood economic conditions, social processes, and self-rated health in low-income neighborhoods in Texas: A multilevel latent variables model," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 61(6), pages 1135-1150, September.
    5. Araya, Ricardo & Dunstan, Frank & Playle, Rebecca & Thomas, Hollie & Palmer, Stephen & Lewis, Glyn, 2006. "Perceptions of social capital and the built environment and mental health," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 62(12), pages 3072-3083, June.
    6. Inclán, Cristina & Hijar, Martha & Tovar, Victor, 2005. "Social capital in settings with a high concentration of road traffic injuries. The case of Cuernavaca, Mexico," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 61(9), pages 2007-2017, November.
    7. Verhaeghe, Pieter-Paul & Tampubolon, Gindo, 2012. "Individual social capital, neighbourhood deprivation, and self-rated health in England," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 75(2), pages 349-357.
    8. Wood, Lisa & Frank, Lawrence D. & Giles-Corti, Billie, 2010. "Sense of community and its relationship with walking and neighborhood design," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 70(9), pages 1381-1390, May.
    9. Khawaja, Marwan & Abdulrahim, Sawsan & Soweid, Rima A.Afifi. & Karam, Dima, 2006. "Distrust, social fragmentation and adolescents' health in the outer city: Beirut and beyond," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 63(5), pages 1304-1315, September.


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