The Influence of Social Capital on Individual Health: Is it the Neighbourhood or the Network?
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We examined the influence of both individual and neighbourhood social capital on individual health and analysed whether effects of one type of social capital are contingent upon the other. The Dutch ‘Housing and Living Survey’ (WoON 2006, n = 53,269) was used and combined with information on neighbourhoods (n = 3,273). Using an ecometric approach to estimate neighbourhood social capital, we found that both types of capital were associated with health. In addition, those who have only few contacts with friends and relatives have nevertheless a good health if they have much neighbourhood social capital. The findings demonstrate the potential importance of both types of social capital and the possibility of compensation of one type of social capital by the other one.
KeywordsSocial capital Neighborhood Ecometrics Self-rated health Netherlands
We would like to thank the Data Archiving and Networked Services (DANS) for making our free use of WoON 2006 possible. We thank Dr. Wouter Steenbeek (Netherlands Institute for the Study of Crime and Law Enforcement, Amsterdam) for his help with applying ecometrics. The article benefited from comments by Interuniversity Center for Social Science Theory and Methodology (ICS) colleagues at ‘Forum days’.
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