Maternal and Child Health Journal

, Volume 17, Issue 8, pp 1382–1390 | Cite as

Correlates of Mothers’ Perception of Their Communities’ Social Capital: A Community-Based Study

  • John M. Pascoe
  • Sandy Specht
  • Caroline McNicholas
  • Eileen Kasten
  • William Spears
  • Wendy Looman
Article

Abstract

Psychosocial issues have been recognized as important factors in children’s health for decades. This study documents the relation among several important psychosocial variables (e.g., mothers’ depressive symptoms) and a new instrument that assesses parents’ perception of their communities’ social capital. Mothers were recruited from their children’s primary care (PC) pediatricians’ offices within the Southwestern Ohio Ambulatory Research Network or from a children’s hospital developmental clinic (DC). Mothers completed a questionnaire that included the Social Capital Scale (SCS), Children with Special Health Care Needs Screener (CSHCNS), Pediatric Quality of Life Inventory, Maternal Social Support Index and the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale (CES-D). Mothers were sorted into three subgroups based on site of recruitment (PC or DC) and results of the CSHCNS. The sample (N = 620) was also sorted into terciles based on SCS scores. Mean SCS was about 73 for each of the three subgroups. Compared to mothers in the highest SCS tercile, mothers in the lowest SCS tercile reported lower education, lower income and higher CES-D median scores. The SCS subscale “sense of belonging” had an inverse correlation with CES-D scores (r = −.248, p < 0.001). Mothers from primary care and sub-specialty clinics had similar perceptions about their communities’ social capital. Compared to mothers in the highest one third of SCS scores, mothers in the lowest one third were more likely to report less education and income as well as more depressive symptoms. A decreased sense of belonging in their communities was also correlated with more depressive symptoms. The SCS is a new useful tool for investigators and clinicians who work with children and their families.

Keywords

Chronic health conditions Maternal depression Quality of life Social capital 

Abbreviations

PC

Primary care

DC

Developmental clinic

SCS

Social Capital Scale

CSHCNS

Children special health care needs screener

PedsQL

Pediatric Quality of Life Inventory

MSSI

Maternal Social Support Index

CES-D

Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale

HT

Highest SCS tercile

LT

Lowest SCS tercile

References

  1. 1.
    Heinild, S. (1952). Present-day tasks in psychosocial paediatrics. Acta Paediatrica, 41, 538–554.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Berkman, L. F., & Kawachi, I. (2000). Social epidemiology. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Haggerty, R. J., Roghmann, K. J., & Pless, I. B. (1993). Child health and the community (2nd ed.). New Jersey: Wiley-Interscience.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Bronfenbrenner, U. (1979). The ecology of human development (p. 26). Boston: Harvard College.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Morrow, V. (1999). Conceptualising social capital in relation to the well-being of children and young people: A critical review. The Social Review, 47, 755–764.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Marmot, M., & Wilkinson, R. G. (2006). Social determinants of health (2nd ed.). Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Carroll, L. (1960). The annotated Alice (p. 269). New York: Bramhall House.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Muntaner, C., Lynch, J., & Smith, G. D. (2000). Social capital and the third way in public health. Critical Public Health, 10, 107–124.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Szreter, S., & Woolcock, M. (2004). Health by association? Social capital, social theory, and the political economy of public health. International Epidemiological Association, 33, 650–667.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Looman, W. S. (2004). Defining social capital for nursing: Experiences of family caregivers of children with chronic conditions. Journal of Family Nursing, 10, 412–428.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Looman, W. S. (2006). Development and testing of the social capital scale for families of children with special health care needs. Research in Nursing & Health, 29, 325–336.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Wachs, T., Black, M. M., & Engle, P. (2009). Maternal depression: A global threat to children’s health, development and behavior and to human rights. Child Development Perspectives, 3, 51–59.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Goodman, S. H., & Tully, E. (2006). Depression in women who are mothers. In C. L. M. Keyes & S. H. Goodman (Eds.), Women and depression: A handbook for the social, behavioral, and biomedical sciences (pp. 241–280). New York: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Bethell, C. D., Read, D., Stein, R. E. K., Blumberg, S. I., Wells, N., & Newacheck, P. W. (2002). Identifying children with special health care needs: Development and evaluation of a short screening instrument. Ambulatory Pediatrics, 2, 38–48.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Varni, J. W., Seid, M., & Kurtin, P. S. (2001). PedsQL 4.0: Reliability and validity of the Pediatric Quality of Life Inventory Vision 4.0 Generic core scales in healthy and patient populations. Medical Care, 39, 800–812.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Radloff, L. S. (1977). The CES-D scale: A self report depression scale for research in the general population. Applied Psychological Measures, 1, 385–401.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Pascoe, J. M., Ialong, N., Hom, W., & Reinhardt, M. A. (1988). The reliability and validity of the maternal social index. Family Medicine, 20, 228–230.Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Pascoe, J. M., & Earp, J. A. (1984). The effects of mother’s social support and life changes on the stimulation of children in the home. American Journal of Public Health, 75, 358–360.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Pascoe, J. M., Chessare, J., & Ulrich, L. (1987). Help with prenatal household tasks and newborn birthweight: Is there an association? Journal of Behavior Pediatrics, 8, 207–212.Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Pascoe, J. M., & Walsh, N. (1982). Construct validity of the maternal social support index. Journal of Behavior Pediatrics, 3, 122.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Pascoe, J. M., & French, J. (1993). Third-trimester maternal psychosocial factors and their infants’ home stimulation: A prospective study. Archives of Family Medicine, 2, 624–628.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Quinlivan, J. A., Luehr, B., & Evans, S. F. (2004). Teenage mother’s predictions of their support levels before and actual support levels after having a child. Journal of Pediatric Adolescent Gynecology, 17, 273–278.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    House, J. S., Landis, K. R., & Umberson, D. (1988). Social relationships and health. Science, 241, 540–545.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Wilde, J. (2007). The social and economic determinants of health for discussion at health and human rights: Setting the priorities. The Institution of Public Health in Ireland.Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    Christakis, N. A., & Fowler, J. H. (2008). The collective dynamics of smoking in a large social network. New England Journal of Medicine, 258, 2249–2258.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Subramanian, S. V., Lochner, K. A., & Kawachi, I. (2003). Neighborhood differences in social capital: A compositional artifact or a contextual construct? Health & Place, 9, 33–44.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Kawachi, I., Kim, D., Coutts, A., & Subramanian, S. V. (2004). Commentary: Reconciling the three accounts of social capital. International Journal of Epidemiology, 33, 682–690.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    DeSilva, M. J., & Harpham, T. (2007). Maternal social capital and child nutritional status in four developing countries. Health & Place, 13, 341–355.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    De Silva, M. J., McKenzie, K., Harpham, T., & Huttly, S. R. A. (2005). Social capital and mental illness: A systematic review. Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, 59, 619–627.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. 30.
    Singh, G. K., Kogan, M. D., Siahpush, M., & van Dyck, P. C. (2008). Independent and joint effects of socioeconomic, behavioral, and neighborhood characteristics on physical inactivity and activity levels among US children and adolescents. Journal of Community Health, 33, 206–216.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • John M. Pascoe
    • 1
  • Sandy Specht
    • 1
  • Caroline McNicholas
    • 1
  • Eileen Kasten
    • 1
  • William Spears
    • 1
  • Wendy Looman
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Pediatrics, Boonshoft School of Medicine, One Children’s PlazaWright State UniversityDaytonUSA
  2. 2.School of NursingUniversity of MinnesotaMinneapolisUSA

Personalised recommendations