Social capital: An individual or collective resource for health?
Although it is now widely acknowledged that the social environment plays an important role in people's health and well-being, there is considerable disagreement about whether social capital is a collective attribute of communities or societies, or whether its beneficial properties are associated with individuals and their social relationships. Using data from the European Social Survey (22 countries, N=42,358), this study suggests that, rather than having a contextual influence on health, the beneficial properties of social capital can be found at the individual level. Individual levels of social trust and civic participation were strongly associated with self-rated health. At the same time, the aggregate social trust and civic participation variables at the national level were not related to people's subjective health after controlling for compositional differences in socio-demographics. Despite the absence of a main contextual effect, the current study found a more complex cross-level interaction for social capital. Trusting and socially active individuals more often report good or very good health in countries with high levels of social capital than individuals with lower levels of trust and civic participation, but are less likely to do so in countries with low levels of social capital. This suggests that social capital does not uniformly benefit individuals living in the same community or society.
If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
Volume (Year): 62 (2006)
Issue (Month): 2 (January)
|Contact details of provider:|| Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/wps/find/journaldescription.cws_home/315/description#description|
|Order Information:|| Postal: http://www.elsevier.com/wps/find/supportfaq.cws_home/regional|
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- 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.
- Mohan, John & Twigg, Liz & Barnard, Steve & Jones, Kelvyn, 2005. "Social capital, geography and health: a small-area analysis for England," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 60(6), pages 1267-1283, March.
- Hawe, Penelope & Shiell, Alan, 2000. "Social capital and health promotion: a review," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 51(6), pages 871-885, September.
- Cattell, Vicky, 2001. "Poor people, poor places, and poor health: the mediating role of social networks and social capital," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 52(10), pages 1501-1516, May.
- Caughy, Margaret O'Brien & O'Campo, Patricia J. & Muntaner, Carles, 2003. "When being alone might be better: neighborhood poverty, social capital, and child mental health," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 57(2), pages 227-237, July.
- Lomas, Jonathan, 1998. "Social capital and health: Implications for public health and epidemiology," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 47(9), pages 1181-1188, November.
- Veenstra, Gerry, 2000. "Social capital, SES and health: an individual-level analysis," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 50(5), pages 619-629, March.
- Veenstra, Gerry, 2005. "Location, location, location: contextual and compositional health effects of social capital in British Columbia, Canada," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 60(9), pages 2059-2071, May.
- Duncan, Craig & Jones, Kelvyn & Moon, Graham, 1998. "Context, composition and heterogeneity: Using multilevel models in health research," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 46(1), pages 97-117, January.
- Robert Stimson & John Western & Scott Baum & Yolanda Van Gellecum, 2003. "Measuring Community Strength and Social Capital," ERSA conference papers ersa03p521, European Regional Science Association.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:62:y:2006:i:2:p:292-302. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Dana Niculescu)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.