Social Capital and Migrants’ Quality of Life: a Systematic Narrative Review
We aimed at contributing to the theoretical understanding of the association between quality of life and social capital. Different from other reviews, our review focused on exploring existing empirical research to provide a consolidated overview of the evidence on this association among migrant populations. This paper presents a systematic review of scientific literature on the association between quality of life and social capital among migrant populations. Considering the heterogeneity of the study group (migrants) and the complexity surrounding the measurement of quality of life and social capital, we used an integrative approach to synthesise results from both qualitative and quantitative studies. We adopted PRISMA 2009 (a flow diagram) for paper selection following specified criteria. The results were then categorised based on the direction of the association, i.e. positive association, no association and negative association, and were presented in a narrative form. A total of 53 studies were identified, five of which met the inclusion criteria and were reviewed in this paper. Social capital measured by social participation, social network, trust and reciprocity showed a positive relationship with quality of life five of the eight times the association was tested and no significant association the other three times. While our findings support the general conclusion that social capital is a significant predictor of quality of life among migrant populations, they further project the variations in this relationship across different measures of social capital and other domains of quality of life among migrant groups.
KeywordsMigrants Social capital Quality of life Social network
I would like to express my gratitude to my supervisor, Prof. Monika Bullinger, for her ever-present guidance and mentorship, patience and understanding. I appreciate my wife, Elma, and my son Elias for their energising love and encouragements throughout this process.
Conflict of Interest
The author declares that he has no conflict of interest.
There was no ethical approval necessary for the current review. However, the author adopted the PRISMA 2009 flow diagram to ensure a transparent and clear review process.
- Berghs M, Atkin K, Graham H, Hatton C, & Thomas C. (2016). Effective public health practice project quality assessment tool [Internet]. NIHR Journals Library; [cited 2018 May 31]. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK378949/.
- Bhugra, D., & Becker, M. A. (2005). Migration, cultural bereavement and cultural identity. World Psychiatry., 4(1), 18–24.Google Scholar
- Bourdieu, P. (1986). The forms of capital [Internet] (pp. 241–258). Westport, CT: Greenwood (Richardson, J Handbook of Theory and Research for the Sociology of Education). Available from: http://www.socialcapitalgateway.org/content/paper/bourdieu-p-1986-forms-capital-richardson-j-handbook-theory-and-research-sociology-educ.Google Scholar
- Day J, & Wen M. (2007). Social capital and adolescent mental well-being: the role of family, school and neighborhood. Conf Pap -- Am Sociol Assoc. Annual Meeting; 1.Google Scholar
- Erdem, Ö., Van Lenthe, F.J., Prins. R.G., Voorham. T.A.J.J., & Burdorf A. (2016). Socioeconomic inequalities in psychological distress among urban adults: the moderating role of neighborhood social cohesion. PLoS ONE [Internet]. [cited 2019 Oct 9];11(6). Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4900553/.
- IOM (2013). World Migration Report 2013 - Migrant well-being and development [Internet]. Vol. 7. International Organization for Migration (IOM); [cited 2017b Nov 30]. 220 p. Available from: https://publications.iom.int/books/world-migration-report-2013.
- IOM (2017). World Migration Report 2013 - Migrant well-being and development [Internet]. Vol. 7. International Organization for Migration (IOM). 220 p. Available from: https://publications.iom.int/books/world-migration-report-2013.
- Putnam RD. Bowling alone: America’s declining social capital. In: Culture and politics [Internet]. Palgrave Macmillan, New York; 1995 [cited 2018 May 31]. p. 223–34. Available from: https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-1-349-62397-6_12 Google Scholar
- Uphoff, N. (1999). Understanding social capital: learning from the analysis and experience of participation. In Ithaca, NY, USA: Cornell University Press 215-249 : 3 tab.Google Scholar
- WHOQOL. (1982). The World Health Organization Quality of Life Assessment (WHOQOL): development and general psychometric properties. Soc Sci Med, 46(12), 1569–1585.Google Scholar
- Zhang, J. (2014). Elderly Chinese migrants, intergenerational reciprocity, and quality of life. N Z Sociol., 29(2), 11–30.Google Scholar