Relationship between social capital and health

relationship between social capital and health

concepts involved in describing the relationship between social capital and health, provide new empirical evidence and clarify empirical challenges that may . Feb 8, The overall aims of this article are to review the relationships between social capital and health and to discuss implications for health promotion. health and wellbeing. Our focus in the review is on intra- and inter-familial relationships, that is, interactions within families (family social capital) and between.

Individual social capital and health Berkman and Glass 7 present several hypotheses about the link between resources embedded in social networks and health.

Social influence is another pathway between social networks and health 7. The influence of peers on health behaviors such as smoking and diet is clearly documented in health promotion 9. Further, social participation provides opportunities to learn new skills and confers a sense of belonging to one's community 7. Thus, social participation can influence health directly by activating cognitive systems, and indirectly by giving a sense of coherence and meaningfulness 7.

Finally, group membership can also provide access to material resources and services with a direct bearing on health, such as job opportunities and health service 7.

Social Capital | Health Impact Assessments - UCLA SPH

A more recent hypothesis relates individual position or status in the social hierarchy of one's social network or community. Social capital as a collective attribute — social cohesion approaches Within social cohesion approaches, social capital is viewed as a collective feature characterising whole communities.

These approaches have their theoretical basis in the writings of Robert Putnam 11 Following Putnam 1112a high social capital community is characterized by the existence of dense and strong associations, and active citizens who are able to put public before private good.

Further, citizens act as equals with the same rights and obligations for all, and horizontal relations of reciprocity are common.

Social Capital -- the critical assets for success. - Sadhana Pasricha - TEDxWilmington

Finally, levels of interpersonal and generalized trust are high, which encourages people to cooperate on the basis of expected reciprocity. Westlund 15 suggests that the knowledge society, where internet communication partly replaces civil association activities, has led to societal fragmentation and consequent changes in social capital. In addition, social scientist Michael Woolcock's work can be classified into a collective approach of social capital.

Szreter and Woolcock 17 add to Putnam's communitarian view by discussing the macro political prerequisites for the development of trusting norms. They emphasize not only the importance of social ties within and between groups in a community, but also between citizens and various political institutions in a society. Just like Portes 4Woolcock 16 underlines the importance of separating sources and consequences of social capital.

relationship between social capital and health

According to him, trust is to be viewed as a consequence of social capital This notion is in opposition to Putnam, who sees trust as a precondition for cooperation However, Putnam's view has been criticized for its circular reasoning In an attempt to sort out the sources and consequences of collective social capital in relation to health, I adhere to Woodcock's view, but am aware that trust is not universally acknowledged as an outcome of social capital.

Collective social capital and health The potential links between collective social capital and health are still heavily debated. One possible pathway is that social capital has a mediating role between income inequality and health. This hypothesis was first developed by Wilkinson His work built on studies showing that health is better and life expectancy is longer in populations with low degrees of income inequality.

relationship between social capital and health

Wilkinson's explanation is that equal societies are more socially cohesive than less equal societies. Thus, equal income distribution leads to a positive social environment which is characterized by trust and social cohesion among citizens.

Correspondingly, unequal societies have greater differences in status between citizens, creating mistrust and a decline in social cohesion, as well as high levels of crime and social anxiety In their early writings, Kawachi and Berkman 20 viewed social capital as a pure collective feature that is clearly distinguished from the research field of social networks.

According to them 20social capital should be viewed as a feature of the community or neighbourhood to which the individual belongs.

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When discussing how collective social capital can affect individual health, Kawachi and Berkman 20 end up with similar explanations for social networks and health, namely that collective social capital influences health by influencing behaviors, access to health services, and psychosocial processes. Woolcock 16and Grootaert and van Bastelaer 21 offer a solution for this when they recognize collective action and trust as consequences of collective social capital.

This distinction may clarify how individual, as opposed to collective social capital, is related to health in different ways. Turner 22 offers an alternative explanation of the association of income distribution and health. According to him, income equality not only increases social cohesion in a society, but also influences the level of public investment in housing, health care, etc.

Other hypotheses of the links between collective social capital and health relate to how collective action can influence health. Kawachi and colleagues 23 note that a cohesive neighborhood is more successful in uniting for the best interest of the neighborhood. Consequently, communities rich in social capital can be more successful in influencing political decisions and fighting cuts to local services such as health care.

High levels of social capital in local communities can influence health through the spread of healthy norms Further, collective social capital is believed to facilitate faster and wider diffusion of health information and knowledge, which thereby can affect health These beliefs are built on the notion that health behavior is determined more by collective social identities than by rational individual choices.

In Canadian government researchers completed a major research project on social capital and health. Among the products of their work is a comprehensive reference document on Measurement of Social Capital Franke, Downstream Health Effects While the direct links between social capital and health outcomes are not fully understood, research has consistently found positive associations between social capital and both physical and mental health Berkman, Glass et al.

Among the many pathways through which social capital affects health, providing social support and promoting healthier behaviors Berkman, Glass et al.

relationship between social capital and health

The association between social capital and health may also be explained in part by the access to goods and services that tends to be higher among people living in communities with high levels of social capital compared to people living in communities with low levels of social capital Policy Research Institute, The effects of social capital on health are intertwined with economic issues and the distribution of resources Altschuler, Somkin and Adler, ; Islam, Merlo, Kawachi et al.

Some researchers have criticized the purported links between social capital and health for not adequately taking into account these material i.

Social capital and health – implications for health promotion

Like any form of capital, the community networks and social ties reflected in the concept of capital can be put to uses that are inimical to the well-being of others. Exclusive social clubs and associations can restrict the access of ethnic minorities and the poor to jobs and educational opportunities. Criminal gangs can co-opt social networks in ethnic enclaves to advance criminal enterprise and enforce acquiescence, and social networks can be used to demand conformity to social norms in ways that comprise individual rights and liberty Public Research Institute, Policies and Other Determinants A wide range of public policies may affect the quantity and quality of social capital in a community.

In general, social capital is increased by policies that provide times and places for social interaction and which encourage utilization of such opportunities by a wide array of groups and individuals within a community.

Policies that isolate and compartmentalize groups and individuals, or which reduce opportunities for interaction generally decrease levels of social capital. Some areas where public policy may be especially effective in building social capital include: Distribution and availability of affordable housing can decrease travel time and decrease the social isolation of low income workers forced to live far from work.

Mixing of housing in different price ranges can encourage social interaction among people of different economic levels and ethnic backgrounds.

relationship between social capital and health

Residential building codes can encourage more interaction between neighbors. Design elements that orient structure openings and active living areas towards the street instead of the backyardusable front porches, restrictions on walls and fence heights, and provision of common-use areas can all support more social interaction. Pedestrian-centered retail and commercial development, this is often combined with mixed use development to create informal opportunities for interaction.