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Effects of child health on parents' social capital

Listed author(s):
  • Schultz, Jennifer
  • Corman, Hope
  • Noonan, Kelly
  • Reichman, Nancy E.
Registered author(s):

    This paper adds to the literature on social capital and health by testing whether an exogenous shock in the health of a family member (a new baby) affects the family's investment in social capital. It also contributes to a small but growing literature on the effects of children's health on family resources and provides information about associations between health and social capital in a socioeconomically disadvantaged population. We use data from the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing study, a longitudinal survey of about 5000 births to mostly unwed parents in 20 U.S. cities during the years 1998-2000. Both parents were interviewed at the time of the birth and then again one and three years later. The infants' medical records from the birth hospitalization were reviewed, and poor infant health was characterized to reflect serious and random health problems that were present at birth. Social interactions, reported at three years, include the parents' participation in church groups, service clubs, political organizations, community groups, and organizations working with children; regular religious attendance; and visiting relatives with the child. Education, employment, wages, and sociodemographic characteristics are included in the analyses. The results suggest that infant health shocks do not affect the parents' social interactions.

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    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0277-9536(09)00217-2
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    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Social Science & Medicine.

    Volume (Year): 69 (2009)
    Issue (Month): 1 (July)
    Pages: 76-84

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:69:y:2009:i:1:p:76-84
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    1. Saffer, Henry, 2008. "The demand for social interaction," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 37(3), pages 1047-1060, June.
    2. Bolin, Kristian & Lindgren, Björn & Lindström, Martin & Nystedt, Paul, 2003. "Investments in social capital--implications of social interactions for the production of health," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 56(12), pages 2379-2390, June.
    3. Alesina, Alberto & La Ferrara, Eliana, 2002. "Who trusts others?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 85(2), pages 207-234, August.
    4. Schultz, Jennifer & O'Brien, A. Maureen & Tadesse, Bedassa, 2008. "Social capital and self-rated health: Results from the US 2006 social capital survey of one community," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 67(4), pages 606-617, August.
    5. Edward L. Glaeser & David Laibson & Bruce Sacerdote, 2002. "An Economic Approach to Social Capital," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(483), pages 437-458, November.
    6. Edward L. Glaeser & David I. Laibson & José A. Scheinkman & Christine L. Soutter, 2000. "Measuring Trust," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 115(3), pages 811-846.
      • Glaeser, Edward Ludwig & Laibson, David I. & Scheinkman, Jose A. & Soutter, Christine L., 2000. "Measuring Trust," Scholarly Articles 4481497, Harvard University Department of Economics.
    7. Nancy Reichman & Hope Corman & Kelly Noonan, 2004. "Effects of child health on parents’ relationship status," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 41(3), pages 569-584, August.
    8. Lomas, Jonathan, 1998. "Social capital and health: Implications for public health and epidemiology," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 47(9), pages 1181-1188, November.
    9. Hope Corman & Kelly Noonan & Nancy E. Reichman, 2005. "Mother's Labor Supply in Fragile Families: The Role of Child Health," Eastern Economic Journal, Eastern Economic Association, vol. 31(4), pages 601-616, Fall.
    10. Reichman, Nancy E. & Teitler, Julien O. & Garfinkel, Irwin & McLanahan, Sara S., 2001. "Fragile Families: sample and design," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 23(4-5), pages 303-326.
    11. Kelly Noonan & Nancy E. Reichman & Hope Corman, 2005. "New Fathers' Labor Supply: Does Child Health Matter?," Social Science Quarterly, Southwestern Social Science Association, vol. 86(s1), pages 1399-1417.
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