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Social capital, geography and health: a small-area analysis for England

Listed author(s):
  • Mohan, John
  • Twigg, Liz
  • Barnard, Steve
  • Jones, Kelvyn
Registered author(s):

    There has recently been much debate about the influence of social capital on health outcomes. In particular it has been suggested that levels of social capital vary from place to place and that such variations may account for previously unexplained between-place variations in health outcomes. As yet few studies exist of the influence of small-area variations in social capital on health outcomes. One reason for this is the difficulty of obtaining indicators for small areas such as electoral wards in England, and we describe a method used to derive what we term 'synthetic estimates' of aspects of social capital by linking coefficients produced from multi-level analyses of national survey datasets to census data. We produce estimates for electoral wards in England and apply these in multi-level models of our response variable, the probability of survival of individuals surveyed in the Health and Lifestyle Survey of England. We report various combinations of models incorporating individual attributes, health-related behaviours, area measures of deprivation, and area measures of social capital. Our overall conclusion is that we find little support, at this spatial scale, for the proposition that area measures of social capital exert a beneficial effect on health outcomes.

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    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0277-9536(04)00336-3
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    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Social Science & Medicine.

    Volume (Year): 60 (2005)
    Issue (Month): 6 (March)
    Pages: 1267-1283

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:60:y:2005:i:6:p:1267-1283
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    1. Hall, Peter A., 1999. "Social Capital in Britain," British Journal of Political Science, Cambridge University Press, vol. 29(03), pages 417-461, June.
    2. William Maloney & Graham Smith & Gerry Stoker, 2000. "Social Capital and Urban Governance: Adding a More Contextualized 'Top-down' Perspective," Political Studies, Political Studies Association, vol. 48(4), pages 802-820, September.
    3. Kawachi, Ichiro & Kennedy, Bruce P. & Wilkinson, Richard G., 1999. "Crime: social disorganization and relative deprivation," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 48(6), pages 719-731, March.
    4. Lochner, Kimberly A. & Kawachi, Ichiro & Brennan, Robert T. & Buka, Stephen L., 2003. "Social capital and neighborhood mortality rates in Chicago," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 56(8), pages 1797-1805, April.
    5. Foley, Michael W. & Edwards, Bob, 1999. "Is It Time to Disinvest in Social Capital?," Journal of Public Policy, Cambridge University Press, vol. 19(02), pages 141-173, May.
    6. Grootaert Grootaert & Deepa Narayan & Veronica Nyhan Jones & Michael Woolcock, 2004. "Measuring Social Capital : An Integrated Questionnaire," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 15033, April.
    7. Gunnar L.H Svendsen & Gert T. Svendsen, 2004. "The Creation and Destruction of Social Capital," Books, Edward Elgar Publishing, number 3276.
    8. Subramanian, S. V. & Kawachi, Ichiro & Kennedy, Bruce P., 2001. "Does the state you live in make a difference? Multilevel analysis of self-rated health in the US," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 53(1), pages 9-19, July.
    9. Kennedy, Bruce P. & Kawachi, Ichiro & Brainerd, Elizabeth, 1998. "The role of social capital in the Russian mortality crisis," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 26(11), pages 2029-2043, November.
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