JOURNAL ARTICLE

Social capital and health-purely a question of context?

Giuseppe Nicola Giordano, Henrik Ohlsson, Martin Lindström
Health & Place 2011, 17 (4): 946-53
21555233
Debate still surrounds which level of analysis (individual vs. contextual) is most appropriate to investigate the effects of social capital on health. Applying multilevel ecometric analyses to British Household Panel Survey data, we estimated fixed and random effects between five individual-, household- and small area-level social capital indicators and general health. We further compared the variance in health attributable to each level using intraclass correlations. Our results demonstrate that association between social capital and health depends on indicator type and level investigated, with one quarter of total individual-level health variance found at the household level. However, individual-level social capital variables and other health determinants appear to influence contextual-level variance the most.

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