, Volume 111, Issue 1, pp 185-202
Date: 13 Jan 2012

A Multilevel Analysis of the Compositional and Contextual Association of Social Capital and Subjective Well-Being in Seoul, South Korea

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The purpose of this study is to examine the association between social capital and subjective well-being (life satisfaction) by using multilevel analysis considering both individual and area-level social capital while adjusting for various control variables at multiple-levels in Seoul, South Korea. The data was from the 2010 (Wave 2) Seoul Welfare Panel Study, conducted by Seoul Welfare Foundation. The final sample for this study consisted of 5,934 individuals aged 18 years or older in 2,847 households within 25 administrative areas. Three-level multilevel linear regression analyses, with random intercept models, were applied. Our results provide evidence that various dimensions of social capital both at the individual and area-level are positively associated with subjective life satisfaction, even after controlling for various factors at the individual, household, and area-levels. All of individual-level social capital variables including organizational participation, perceived helpfulness, trust in authorities were positively associated with subjective life satisfaction. Except for trust in authority, area-level organizational participation and perceived helpfulness were positively associated with subjective life satisfaction. These results suggest that decision makers should consider both individual and area-level social capital targeting to enhance one’s well-being.

Sehee Han and Heaseung Kim contributed equally to this work and share first authorship.