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Contextual social capital as a risk factor for poor self-rated health: A multilevel analysis

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  • Engström, Karin
  • Mattsson, Fredrik
  • Järleborg, Anders
  • Hallqvist, Johan

Abstract

In this study, we critically examine whether contextual social capital (CSC) is associated with self-rated health, with an emphasis on the problem of confounding. We also examine different components of CSC and their association with self-rated health. Finally, we look at differences in susceptibility between different socio-demographic groups. We use the cross-sectional base line study of the Stockholm Public Health Cohort, conducted in 2002. A postal questionnaire was answered by 31,182 randomly selected citizens, 18-84 years old, in Stockholm County. We used four measures of social capital: horizontal (civic trust and participation), vertical (political trust and participation), cognitive (civic and political trust) and structural (civic and political participation). CSC was measured at parish level from aggregated individual data, and multilevel regression procedures were employed. We show a twofold greater risk of poor self-rated health in areas with very low CSC compared with areas with very high CSC. Adjustments for individual socio-demographic factors, contextual economic factors and individual social capital lowered the excess risk. Simultaneous adjustment for all three forms of confounding further weakened the association and rendered it insignificant. Cognitive and structural social capital show relatively similar associations with self-rated health, while horizontal CSC seems to be more strongly related to self-rated health than vertical CSC. In conclusion, whether there is none or a moderate association between CSC and self-rated health, depends on the extent to which individual social capital is seen as a mediator or confounder. The association with self-rated health is similar independent of the measure of CSC used. It is also similar in different socio-demographic groups.

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  • Engström, Karin & Mattsson, Fredrik & Järleborg, Anders & Hallqvist, Johan, 2008. "Contextual social capital as a risk factor for poor self-rated health: A multilevel analysis," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 66(11), pages 2268-2280, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:66:y:2008:i:11:p:2268-2280
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    Cited by:

    1. Fiorillo, Damiano & Sabatini, Fabio, 2015. "Structural social capital and health in Italy," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 17(C), pages 129-142.
    2. Rung, Ariane L. & Gaston, Symielle & Robinson, William T. & Trapido, Edward J. & Peters, Edward S., 2017. "Untangling the disaster-depression knot: The role of social ties after Deepwater Horizon," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 177(C), pages 19-26.
    3. Ko, Michelle & Derose, Kathryn Pitkin & Needleman, Jack & Ponce, Ninez A., 2014. "Whose social capital matters? The case of U.S. urban public hospital closures and conversions to private ownership," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 114(C), pages 188-196.
    4. Fiorillo, Damiano & Sabatini, Fabio, 2011. "Quality and quantity: the role of social interactions in individual health," AICCON Working Papers 84-2011, Associazione Italiana per la Cultura della Cooperazione e del Non Profit.
    5. Eriksson, Malin & Ng, Nawi & Weinehall, Lars & Emmelin, Maria, 2011. "The importance of gender and conceptualization for understanding the association between collective social capital and health: A multilevel analysis from northern Sweden," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 73(2), pages 264-273, July.
    6. Sabatini, Fabio, 2014. "The relationship between happiness and health: Evidence from Italy," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 114(C), pages 178-187.
    7. Minoru Takakura, 2015. "Relations of participation in organized activities to smoking and drinking among Japanese youth: contextual effects of structural social capital in high school," International Journal of Public Health, Springer;Swiss School of Public Health (SSPH+), vol. 60(6), pages 679-689, September.
    8. Lorenzo Rocco & Elena Fumagalli & Marc Suhrcke, 2014. "From Social Capital To Health – And Back," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 23(5), pages 586-605, May.
    9. Takakura, Minoru, 2011. "Does social trust at school affect students' smoking and drinking behavior in Japan?," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 72(2), pages 299-306, January.
    10. Sehee Han & Heaseung Kim & Hee-Sun Lee, 2013. "A Multilevel Analysis of the Compositional and Contextual Association of Social Capital and Subjective Well-Being in Seoul, South Korea," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 111(1), pages 185-202, March.
    11. Murayama, Hiroshi & Wakui, Tomoko & Arami, Reiko & Sugawara, Ikuko & Yoshie, Satoru, 2012. "Contextual effect of different components of social capital on health in a suburban city of the greater Tokyo area: A multilevel analysis," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 75(12), pages 2472-2480.
    12. Habibov, Nazim N. & Afandi, Elvin N., 2011. "Self-rated health and social capital in transitional countries: Multilevel analysis of comparative surveys in Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 72(7), pages 1193-1204, April.
    13. Fredrica Nyqvist & Bernd Pape & Tony Pellfolk & Anna Forsman & Kristian Wahlbeck, 2014. "Structural and Cognitive Aspects of Social Capital and All-Cause Mortality: A Meta-Analysis of Cohort Studies," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 116(2), pages 545-566, April.
    14. repec:sro:srosro:2016-80-3 is not listed on IDEAS
    15. Wind, Tim R. & Komproe, Ivan H., 2012. "The mechanisms that associate community social capital with post-disaster mental health: A multilevel model," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 75(9), pages 1715-1720.
    16. Snelgrove, John W. & Pikhart, Hynek & Stafford, Mai, 2009. "A multilevel analysis of social capital and self-rated health: Evidence from the British Household Panel Survey," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 68(11), pages 1993-2001, June.
    17. Eriksson, Malin & Emmelin, Maria, 2013. "What constitutes a health-enabling neighborhood? A grounded theory situational analysis addressing the significance of social capital and gender," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 97(C), pages 112-123.
    18. Verduin, Femke & Smid, Geert E. & Wind, Tim R. & Scholte, Willem F., 2014. "In search of links between social capital, mental health and sociotherapy: A longitudinal study in Rwanda," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 121(C), pages 1-9.
    19. Ryvicker, Miriam & Gallo, William T. & Fahs, Marianne C., 2012. "Environmental factors associated with primary care access among urban older adults," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 75(5), pages 914-921.
    20. repec:hig:wpaper:38/soc/2014 is not listed on IDEAS

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