IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/eee/socmed/v97y2013icp112-123.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

What constitutes a health-enabling neighborhood? A grounded theory situational analysis addressing the significance of social capital and gender

Author

Listed:
  • Eriksson, Malin
  • Emmelin, Maria

Abstract

Variations in health between neighborhoods are well known and the conceptualization of social capital has contributed to an understanding of how contextual factors influence these differences. Studies show positive health-effects from living in high social capital areas, at least for some population sub-groups. The aim of this qualitative study was to understand what constitutes a ‘health-enabling’ neighborhood. It follows up results from a social capital survey in northern Sweden indicating that the health effects of living in a high social capital neighborhood is gendered in favor of women. A grounded theory situational analysis of eight focus group discussions – four with men and four with women – illustrated similar and different positions on how neighborhood characteristics influence health. A neighborhood, where people say hi to each other (“hi-factor”) and where support between neighbors exist, were factors perceived as positive for health by all, as was a good location, neighborhood greenness and proximity to essential arenas. Women perceived freedom from demands, feeling safe and city life as additional health enabling factors. For men freedom to do what you want, a sense of belonging, and countryside life were important. To have burdensome neighbors, physical disturbances and a densely living environment were perceived as negative for health in both groups while demands for a well styled home and feeling unsafe were perceived as negative for health among women. Neighborhood social capital, together with other elements in the living environment, has fundamental influence on people's perceived health. Our findings do not confirm that social capital is more important for women than for men but that distinctive form of social capital differ in impact. Investing in physical interventions, such as planning for meeting places, constructing attractive green areas, and making neighborhoods walking-friendly, may increase human interactions that is instrumental for social capital and is likely to have health promoting effects for all.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:97:y:2013:i:c:p:112-123
    DOI: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2013.08.008
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0277953613004607
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. 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.
    2. Lomas, Jonathan, 1998. "Social capital and health: Implications for public health and epidemiology," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 47(9), pages 1181-1188, November.
    3. Dietz, Robert D. & Haurin, Donald R., 2003. "The social and private micro-level consequences of homeownership," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(3), pages 401-450, November.
    4. 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.
    5. Altschuler, Andrea & Somkin, Carol P. & Adler, Nancy E., 2004. "Local services and amenities, neighborhood social capital, and health," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 59(6), pages 1219-1229, September.
    6. 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.
    7. Stafford, M. & Cummins, S. & Macintyre, S. & Ellaway, A. & Marmot, M., 2005. "Gender differences in the associations between health and neighbourhood environment," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 60(8), pages 1681-1692, April.
    8. Ziersch, Anna M & Baum, Fran E & MacDougall, Colin & Putland, Christine, 2005. "Neighbourhood life and social capital: the implications for health," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 60(1), pages 71-86, January.
    9. Wood, Lisa & Frank, Lawrence D. & Giles-Corti, Billie, 2010. "Sense of community and its relationship with walking and neighborhood design," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 70(9), pages 1381-1390, May.
    10. Macintyre, Sally & Ellaway, Anne & Cummins, Steven, 2002. "Place effects on health: how can we conceptualise, operationalise and measure them?," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 55(1), pages 125-139, July.
    11. repec:aph:ajpbhl:2003:93:9:1451-1456_5 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. Poortinga, Wouter, 2006. "Social relations or social capital? Individual and community health effects of bonding social capital," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 63(1), pages 255-270, July.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Ottoni, Callista A. & Sims-Gould, Joanie & Winters, Meghan & Heijnen, Myrthe & McKay, Heather A., 2016. "“Benches become like porches”: Built and social environment influences on older adults’ experiences of mobility and well-being," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 169(C), pages 33-41.
    2. McConnell, Bonnie B., 2016. "Music and health communication in The Gambia: A social capital approach," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 169(C), pages 132-140.

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:97:y:2013:i:c:p:112-123. 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). General contact details of provider: http://www.elsevier.com/wps/find/journaldescription.cws_home/315/description#description .

    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 CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc 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 RePEc Author Service 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.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.