Measuring Social Capital


Relationships matter to health. That’s a central idea behind social capital, a widely employed concept in social science that explains how connections among people and organizations are a valuable resource that can enhance physical, mental, and material well-being, security, and opportunity for individuals and communities. Indeed, research has shown that social capital can improve public health by counteracting negative effects of stress (Wilkinson & Marmot, 2003), promoting healthy behaviors (Lochner, Kawachi, & Kennedy, 1999), and mitigating some of the impacts of low socioeconomic status on health (Uphoff et al., 2013), among other benefits. However, if public health practitioners measure social capital using incomplete data that is biased against certain populations, they may reinforce inequities harming the very communities they aim to serve. Explore this series to learn ways to measure social capital and how to put that information into practice. 

Social Capital & Health Outcomes

Measuring Social Capital

Social Capital in Action

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