An examination of social capital and social disorganisation in neighbourhoods in the British household panel study
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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Volume (Year): 56 (2003)
Issue (Month): 7 (April)
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