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Social capital as a determinant of self-rated health and psychological well-being

  • Original Article
  • Published:
International Journal of Public Health

Abstract

Objective

To examine whether specific dimensions of social capital are related to self-rated health and psychological well-being.

Methods

Cross-sectional data from a health survey representing the adult Finnish population (N = 8,028) were used. Logistic regression analysis was used to reveal and quantify the possible associations between three dimensions of social capital (social support; social participation and networks; trust and reciprocity) and two general health indicators (self-rated health and psychological well-being). The roles of age, gender, education, living arrangements, income, type of region, functional capacity, and long-standing illness were also assessed.

Results

Good self-rated health was associated with high levels of social participation and networks and trust and reciprocity, but social support did not remain statistically significant after adjustment for socio-demographic factors, long-standing illness, and functional capacity. The association between social support and psychological well-being was explained by the other two dimensions of social capital. The strong positive association between trust and psychological well-being persisted after controlling for all the other factors in our model.

Conclusions

Our findings suggest that trust and reciprocity and social participation and networks contribute to good self-rated health and psychological well-being.

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Acknowledgment

This work was funded by a grant from the Academy of Finland (no. 207447).

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Authors do not have any conflict of interest.

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Correspondence to Tarja Nieminen.

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Nieminen, T., Martelin, T., Koskinen, S. et al. Social capital as a determinant of self-rated health and psychological well-being. Int J Public Health 55, 531–542 (2010). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00038-010-0138-3

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s00038-010-0138-3

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