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The importance of gender and conceptualization for understanding the association between collective social capital and health: A multilevel analysis from northern Sweden

Eriksson, Malin; Ng, Nawi; Weinehall, Lars and Emmelin, Maria LU (2011) In Social Science and Medicine 73(2). p.264-273
Abstract
Growing research on social capital and health has fuelled the debate on whether there is a place effect on health. A central question is whether health inequality between places is due to differences in the composition of people living in these places (compositional effect) or differences in the local social and physical environments (contextual effects). Despite extensive use of multilevel approaches that allows controlling for whether the effects of collective social capital are confounded by access to social capital at the individual level, the picture remains unclear. Recent studies indicate that contextual effects on health may vary for different population subgroups and measuring "average" contextual effects on health for a whole... (More)
Growing research on social capital and health has fuelled the debate on whether there is a place effect on health. A central question is whether health inequality between places is due to differences in the composition of people living in these places (compositional effect) or differences in the local social and physical environments (contextual effects). Despite extensive use of multilevel approaches that allows controlling for whether the effects of collective social capital are confounded by access to social capital at the individual level, the picture remains unclear. Recent studies indicate that contextual effects on health may vary for different population subgroups and measuring "average" contextual effects on health for a whole population might therefore be inappropriate. In this study from northern Sweden, we investigated the associations between collective social capital and self-rated health for men and women separately, to understand if health effects of collective social capital are gendered. Two measures of collective social capital were used: one conventional measure (aggregated measures of trust, participation and voting) and one specific place-related (neighbourhood) measure. The results show a positive association between collective social capital and self-rated health for women but not for men. Regardless of the measure used, women who live in very high social capital neighbourhoods are more likely to rate their health as good fair, compared to women who live in very low social capital neighbourhoods. The health effects of collective social capital might thus be gendered in favour for women. However, a more equal involvement of men and women in the domestic sphere would potentially benefit men in this matter. When controlling for socioeconomic, sociodemographic and social capital attributes at the individual level, the relationship between women's health and collective social capital remained statistically significant when using the neighbourhood-related measure but not when using the conventional measure. Our results support the view that a neighbourhood-related measure provides a clearer picture of the health effects of collective social capital, at least for women. (C) 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Northern Sweden, Collective social capital, Gender, Self-rated health
in
Social Science and Medicine
volume
73
issue
2
pages
264 - 273
publisher
Elsevier
external identifiers
  • wos:000293437000010
  • scopus:79960218710
ISSN
1873-5347
DOI
10.1016/j.socscimed.2011.05.013
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
1ae7cbc0-a6cc-4a7f-a8de-588200f8ebf8 (old id 2065301)
date added to LUP
2011-09-02 08:27:29
date last changed
2017-01-22 03:06:04
@article{1ae7cbc0-a6cc-4a7f-a8de-588200f8ebf8,
  abstract     = {Growing research on social capital and health has fuelled the debate on whether there is a place effect on health. A central question is whether health inequality between places is due to differences in the composition of people living in these places (compositional effect) or differences in the local social and physical environments (contextual effects). Despite extensive use of multilevel approaches that allows controlling for whether the effects of collective social capital are confounded by access to social capital at the individual level, the picture remains unclear. Recent studies indicate that contextual effects on health may vary for different population subgroups and measuring "average" contextual effects on health for a whole population might therefore be inappropriate. In this study from northern Sweden, we investigated the associations between collective social capital and self-rated health for men and women separately, to understand if health effects of collective social capital are gendered. Two measures of collective social capital were used: one conventional measure (aggregated measures of trust, participation and voting) and one specific place-related (neighbourhood) measure. The results show a positive association between collective social capital and self-rated health for women but not for men. Regardless of the measure used, women who live in very high social capital neighbourhoods are more likely to rate their health as good fair, compared to women who live in very low social capital neighbourhoods. The health effects of collective social capital might thus be gendered in favour for women. However, a more equal involvement of men and women in the domestic sphere would potentially benefit men in this matter. When controlling for socioeconomic, sociodemographic and social capital attributes at the individual level, the relationship between women's health and collective social capital remained statistically significant when using the neighbourhood-related measure but not when using the conventional measure. Our results support the view that a neighbourhood-related measure provides a clearer picture of the health effects of collective social capital, at least for women. (C) 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.},
  author       = {Eriksson, Malin and Ng, Nawi and Weinehall, Lars and Emmelin, Maria},
  issn         = {1873-5347},
  keyword      = {Northern Sweden,Collective social capital,Gender,Self-rated health},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {2},
  pages        = {264--273},
  publisher    = {Elsevier},
  series       = {Social Science and Medicine},
  title        = {The importance of gender and conceptualization for understanding the association between collective social capital and health: A multilevel analysis from northern Sweden},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.socscimed.2011.05.013},
  volume       = {73},
  year         = {2011},
}