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Quality and quantity: The role of social interactions in individual health

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  • Fiorillo Damiano
  • Sabatini Fabio

Abstract

The public health literature focusing on the detrimental effects of social isolation has shown that the quantity of social connections is positively correlated with individual health. Drawing on pooled cross-sectional data, we test this hypothesis on a representative sample of the Italian population. Our findings show that, besides the quantity of interactions, it is their quality – as measured by subjective satisfaction derived from relationships with friends – that works as the best predictor of health. We point out the existence of health disparities based on socio-economic status. Poorer and less educated individuals are exposed to a higher probability of reporting poor health conditions. The risk is even worse for unemployed and retired workers. This paper contributes to the literature in two substantive dimensions. This is the first empirical study of the relationship between social interactions and health in Italy. Second, we add to previous studies by carrying out the first assessment of the role of satisfaction in interpersonal relations.

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  • Fiorillo Damiano & Sabatini Fabio, 2011. "Quality and quantity: The role of social interactions in individual health," wp.comunite 0073, Department of Communication, University of Teramo.
  • Handle: RePEc:ter:wpaper:0073
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    12. Fiorillo, Damiano & Sabatini, Fabio, 2015. "Structural social capital and health in Italy," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 17(C), pages 129-142.
    13. Kyung Han You (Ryu) & Jaehee Cho, 2020. "Investigation of the Influential Factors in Leading People to Seek Mobile Information for the Promotion of Health-Related Behaviors," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 12(24), pages 1-15, December.
    14. Sabatini Fabio, 2011. "Can a click buy a little happiness? The impact of business-to-consumer e-commerce on subjective well-being," wp.comunite 0076, Department of Communication, University of Teramo.
    15. Christian Deindl & Martina Brandt & Karsten Hank, 2016. "Social Networks, Social Cohesion, and Later-Life Health," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 126(3), pages 1175-1187, April.
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    17. Calcagnini, Giorgio & Perugini, Francesco, 2019. "Social capital and well-being in the Italian provinces," Socio-Economic Planning Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 68(C).
    18. Ana Gil-Lacruz & Marta Gil-Lacruz & María Isabel Saz-Gil, 2020. "Socially Active Aging and Self-Reported Health: Building a Sustainable Solidarity Ecosystem," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 12(7), pages 1-16, March.
    19. Giacomo Degli Antoni & Fabio Sabatini, 2017. "Social cooperatives, social welfare associations and social networks," Review of Social Economy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 75(2), pages 212-230, April.
    20. Alessandro Bucciol & Simona Cicognani & Luca Zarri, 2017. "The Social Status-Enhancing Power of Social Ties," Working Papers 04/2017, University of Verona, Department of Economics.
    21. Sabatini, Fabio, 2011. "Democracy or videocracy? An econometric analysis of the role of television in the Italian political arena," MPRA Paper 31117, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    22. Fiorillo, Damiano & Lubrano Lavadera, Giuseppe & Nappo, Nunzia, 2016. "Social participation and self-rated psychological health," MPRA Paper 72879, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    23. Sabatini Fabio, 2011. "Who trusts Berlusconi? An econometric analysis of the role of television in the political arena," wp.comunite 0075, Department of Communication, University of Teramo.
    24. Fabio Sabatini, 2012. "Who Trusts B erlusconi? An Econometric Analysis of the Role of Television in the Political Arena," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 65(1), pages 111-131, February.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Health; well-being; satisfaction; social interactions; social capital; family; Italy;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior
    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health
    • Z1 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics

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