IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this article

Maternal social capital and birth outcomes in the mother–child cohort in Crete, Greece (Rhea study)

Listed author(s):
  • Kritsotakis, George
  • Vassilaki, Maria
  • Chatzi, Leda
  • Georgiou, Vaggelis
  • Philalithis, Anastassios E.
  • Kogevinas, Manolis
  • Koutis, Antonis
Registered author(s):

    This cohort study aimed to estimate the effect of individual maternal social capital during pregnancy on birth outcomes in the context of the Mother–child cohort (Rhea study), in Crete – Greece. Women were recruited from four prenatal clinics in Heraklion – Crete for one year beginning in February 2007. 610 women completed the self-administered Social Capital Questionnaire at about the 24th week of gestation. The scale assessed total maternal social capital and four social capital subscales: Participation in the Community, Feelings of Safety, Value of Life and Social Agency, and Tolerance of Diversity. Potential confounders included characteristics that have an established or potential association with the maternal social capital, and the birth outcomes (preterm birth, small weight for the gestational age, fetal weight growth restriction, weight, length and head circumference). The results of logistic and linear regression models indicated that there was an increase in the risk of preterm birth for every unit increase in maternal participation (range 12–48), and especially in the risk of medically indicated preterm birth. Although the findings suggest that participation is associated with an increased probability for preterm birth, we cannot know whether this is a protective or damaging social capital effect. Women who participate more in their communities may have enhanced access to information and/or resources, easier access to health care and support when they face maternal and fetal conditions that trigger the need for medical intervention. On the other hand, women may be more exposed to social and/or environmental stressors. Future research needs to distinguish between different types of participation and different components of social capital to better understand their associations with birth outcomes.

    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.

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    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.

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Social Science & Medicine.

    Volume (Year): 73 (2011)
    Issue (Month): 11 ()
    Pages: 1653-1660

    in new window

    Handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:73:y:2011:i:11:p:1653-1660
    DOI: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2011.09.020
    Contact details of provider: Web page:

    Order Information: Postal:

    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.:

    in new window

    1. repec:aph:ajpbhl:1999:89:8:1187-1193_6 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Folland, Sherman, 2007. "Does "community social capital" contribute to population health?," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 64(11), pages 2342-2354, June.
    3. Costa-Font, Joan & Mladovsky, Philipa, 2008. "Social capital and the social formation of health-related preferences and behaviours," Health Economics, Policy and Law, Cambridge University Press, vol. 3(04), pages 413-427, October.
    4. Siahpush, Mohammad & Borland, Ron & Taylor, Janet & Singh, Gopal K. & Ansari, Zahid & Serraglio, Adrian, 2006. "The association of smoking with perception of income inequality, relative material well-being, and social capital," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 63(11), pages 2801-2812, December.
    5. Iversen, Tor, 2008. "An exploratory study of associations between social capital and self-assessed health in Norway," Health Economics, Policy and Law, Cambridge University Press, vol. 3(04), pages 349-364, October.
    6. O'Brien, Megan S. & Burdsal, Charles A. & Molgaard, Craig A., 2004. "Further development of an Australian-based measure of social capital in a US sample," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 59(6), pages 1207-1217, September.
    7. 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.
    8. Scheffler, Richard M. & Brown, Timothy T., 2008. "Social capital, economics, and health: new evidence," Health Economics, Policy and Law, Cambridge University Press, vol. 3(04), pages 321-331, October.
    9. Phongsavan, Philayrath & Chey, Tien & Bauman, Adrian & Brooks, Robert & Silove, Derrick, 2006. "Social capital, socio-economic status and psychological distress among Australian adults," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 63(10), pages 2546-2561, November.
    10. Forbes, Angus & Wainwright, Steven P., 2001. "On the methodological, theoretical and philosophical context of health inequalities research: a critique," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 53(6), pages 801-816, September.
    11. Kennelly, Brendan & O'Shea, Eamon & Garvey, Eoghan, 2003. "Social capital, life expectancy and mortality: a cross-national examination," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 56(12), pages 2367-2377, June.
    12. repec:aph:ajpbhl:10.2105/ajph.2005.074294_4 is not listed on IDEAS
    13. repec:aph:ajpbhl:2001:91:11:1808-1814_4 is not listed on IDEAS
    14. Carpiano, Richard M., 2006. "Toward a neighborhood resource-based theory of social capital for health: Can Bourdieu and sociology help?," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 62(1), pages 165-175, January.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:73:y:2011:i:11:p:1653-1660. 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 you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.