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Do health behaviors mediate the association between social capital and health?

Poortinga, Wouter 2006. Do health behaviors mediate the association between social capital and health? Preventive Medicine 43 (6) , pp. 488-493. 10.1016/j.ypmed.2006.06.004

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Abstract

Introduction. There is increasing evidence that social capital is important for people's health. However, there is still considerable disagreement about the specific pathways that links social capital to health. This study investigates the hypothesis that the association between social capital and health is mediated by people's health behaviors. Method. Data from the 2002 Health Survey for England (n = 7394) were used and analyzed from a multilevel perspective. The association between social capital and self-rated health were examined before and after controlling for smoking, alcohol intake, and fruit/vegetable consumption. Results. Social capital was found to be associated with self-rated health, as well as with the different health behaviors. In addition, the health behaviors were significantly related to self-rated health. However, controlling for smoking, alcohol intake, and fruit/vegetable consumption did not substantially affect the association between social capital and self-rated health. Conclusions. The results demonstrate that social capital and support are important determinants of self-rated health and health behaviors. But only limited support was found for the hypothesis that health behaviors mediate the association between social capital and health.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Architecture
Psychology
Subjects: R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA0421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine
Uncontrolled Keywords: Social capital; Social support; Health behaviors; Self-rated health
Publisher: Elsevier
ISSN: 0091-7435
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2017 02:08
URI: http://orca.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/9507

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