Social capital and self reported health status in 20 U.S. communities

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Dziadkowiec, Oliwier
Meissen, Gregory J.

Research findings from numerous studies of the past decade have concluded that social capital might have a positive effects physical and mental health of individuals and communities (Kawachi, Kennedy, & Glass, 1999; Kawachi, Subramanian, & Kim, 2008; Poortinga, 2006; Putnam, 2000; Veenstra, 2000). Using a two level hierarchical linear models with 20 communities, this study utilized the data from 2006 Social Capital Community Survey (N= 7956) and data from 2005-2009 American Community Survey to examine how different elements of social capital and community economic indicators contribute to self reported health. In addition, this analysis explored how other variables related to self reported health compare to social capital variables in explaining differences in health between communities. Finally, limitations, future research, and suggestions on how social capital can be used to improve self reported health are discussed.

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Thesis (Ph.D.)--Wichita State University, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Dept. of Psychology