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Does low workplace social capital have detrimental effect on workers' health?

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Listed:
  • Suzuki, Etsuji
  • Takao, Soshi
  • Subramanian, S.V.
  • Komatsu, Hirokazu
  • Doi, Hiroyuki
  • Kawachi, Ichiro

Abstract

While the majority of studies of social capital and health have focused on conceptualizing social capital at the geographic level, evidence remains sparse on workplace social capital. We examined the association between workplace social capital and health status among Japanese private sector employees in a cross-sectional study. By employing a two-stage stratified random sampling procedure, 1147 employees were identified from 46 companies in Okayama in 2007. Workplace social capital was measured based on two components; trust and reciprocity. Company-level social capital was based on aggregating employee responses and calculating the proportion of workers reporting mistrust and lack of reciprocity. Multilevel logistic regression analysis was conducted using Markov Chain Monte Carlo methods to explore whether individual- and company-level mistrust and lack of reciprocity were associated with poor self-rated health. Odds ratios (ORs) and 95% credible intervals (CIs) for poor health were obtained for each variable. Workers reporting individual-level mistrust and lack of reciprocity had approximately double the odds of poor health even after controlling for sex, age, occupation, educational attainment, smoking, alcohol use, physical activity, body mass index, and chronic diseases. While we found some suggestion of a contextual association between company-level mistrust and poor health, no association was found between company-level lack of reciprocity and health. Despite the thorough examination of cross-level interaction terms between company-level social capital and individual characteristics, no clear patterns were observed. Individual perceptions of mistrust and lack of reciprocity at work have adverse effects on self-rated health among Japanese workers. Although the present study possibly suggests the contextual effect of workplace mistrust on workers' health, the contextual effect of workplace lack of reciprocity was not supported.

Suggested Citation

  • Suzuki, Etsuji & Takao, Soshi & Subramanian, S.V. & Komatsu, Hirokazu & Doi, Hiroyuki & Kawachi, Ichiro, 2010. "Does low workplace social capital have detrimental effect on workers' health?," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 70(9), pages 1367-1372, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:70:y:2010:i:9:p:1367-1372
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. repec:aph:ajpbhl:1988:78:10:1336-1342_0 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Oksanen, Tuula & Kouvonen, Anne & Kivimäki, Mika & Pentti, Jaana & Virtanen, Marianna & Linna, Anne & Vahtera, Jussi, 2008. "Social capital at work as a predictor of employee health: Multilevel evidence from work units in Finland," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 66(3), pages 637-649, February.
    3. Takao, Soshi, 2009. "Research on social capital and health in Japan. A commentary on Ichida and on Fujisawa," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 69(4), pages 509-511, August.
    4. Ichida, Yukinobu & Kondo, Katsunori & Hirai, Hiroshi & Hanibuchi, Tomoya & Yoshikawa, Goshu & Murata, Chiyoe, 2009. "Social capital, income inequality and self-rated health in Chita peninsula, Japan: a multilevel analysis of older people in 25 communities," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 69(4), pages 489-499, August.
    5. Fujisawa, Yoshikazu & Hamano, Tsuyoshi & Takegawa, Shogo, 2009. "Social capital and perceived health in Japan: An ecological and multilevel analysis," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 69(4), pages 500-505, August.
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    Cited by:

    1. Eiji Yamamura, 2011. "Differences in the effect of social capital on health status between workers and non-workers," International Review of Economics, Springer;Happiness Economics and Interpersonal Relations (HEIRS), vol. 58(4), pages 385-400, December.
    2. Inaba, Yoji & Wada, Yuri & Ichida, Yukinobu & Nishikawa, Masashi, 2015. "Which part of community social capital is related to life satisfaction and self-rated health? A multilevel analysis based on a nationwide mail survey in Japan," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 142(C), pages 169-182.
    3. Hanibuchi, Tomoya & Murata, Yohei & Ichida, Yukinobu & Hirai, Hiroshi & Kawachi, Ichiro & Kondo, Katsunori, 2012. "Place-specific constructs of social capital and their possible associations to health: A Japanese case study," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 75(1), pages 225-232.
    4. Kumar, Santosh & Calvo, Rocio & Avendano, Mauricio & Sivaramakrishnan, Kavita & Berkman, Lisa F., 2012. "Social support, volunteering and health around the world: Cross-national evidence from 139 countries," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 74(5), pages 696-706.
    5. 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.
    6. 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.
    7. repec:hit:cisdps:575 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Matsuyama, Yusuke & Aida, Jun & Hase, Akihiro & Sato, Yukihiro & Koyama, Shihoko & Tsuboya, Toru & Osaka, Ken, 2016. "Do community- and individual-level social relationships contribute to the mental health of disaster survivors?: A multilevel prospective study after the Great East Japan Earthquake," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 151(C), pages 187-195.
    9. Han, Sehee, 2013. "Compositional and contextual associations of social capital and self-rated health in Seoul, South Korea: A multilevel analysis of longitudinal evidence," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 80(C), pages 113-120.
    10. Lindström, Martin & Giordano, Giuseppe N., 2016. "The 2008 financial crisis: Changes in social capital and its association with psychological wellbeing in the United Kingdom – A panel study," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 153(C), pages 71-80.

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