Table (A)

Characteristics of the 14 studies measuring social capital at the individual level

Study refSettingStudy designPopulationSample sizeValiditySocial capital measureMental illness measureStatistical analysisResult
NS, age not specified. Key to type of study: *study published in peer reviewed journal or accepted for publication, †unpublished manuscript, ‡report/book chapter, §PhD thesis. Study design: XS, cross sectional; L, longitudinal; E, ecological. Social capital measure: C, cognitive social capital; S, structural social capital. Mental illness measure: CMD, common mental disorders. Key to methodological limitations: Measurement of social capital—1, secondary analysis of survey questions not originally designed to measure social capital; 2, not all aspects of social capital measured, or combined different aspects of social capital into one score; 3, no information in validity of social capital measure; 4, clusters may not represent respondents’ views of their community. Methodological limitations of study that may bias results—5, testing the relation between social capital and mental illness not a stated objective of the study; 6, sampled from one community type so little variation in social capital scores between individuals; 7, response rate less than 60%. Features of analysis that may bias results—8, no control for confounding by socioeconomic status; 9, hierarchical data structure (individual and community level variables, or clustered data), but only single level modelling used; 10, neighbourhood disorder, violence or psychological resources adjusted for. These variables may be on the causal pathway between social capital and mental illness, thus making the relation non-significant. Key to results: ++, positive association between social capital and mental illness significant at p<0.05; +, positive association between social capital and mental illness not significant at p = 0.05; − −, inverse association between social capital and mental illness significant at p<0.05; −, inverse association between social capital and mental illness not significant at p = 0.05; ., non-significant association, direction of association not known.
Pevalin 200342UK national sampleXS16+ yearsSocial participation  =  167501, 2, 3C  =  neighbourhood attachmentCMD measured using GHQ12MultivariateC  =  − −
Neighbourhood attachment  = 7,974S  =  social participationS  =  − −
L16+yearsOnset  = 35907 person years1, 2, 3S  =  social participationOnset, recovery from, and time to recovery from CMD measured using GHQ12MultivariateS  =  Onset  =  − − Recovery  =  − Time to recovery  =  −
Recovery  = 8840 person years
Boreham 200343England national sampleXS16+ years79882, 3, 10C  =  thin trust S  =  participation in organised activitiesCMD measured using GHQ12MultilevelC  =  − − S  =  male  =  −
female  =  − −
Steptoe 200144*England UrbanXSAdults (age n.s.)6582, 3, 5, 7,9C  =  social cohesionCMD measured using GHQ12MultivariateC  =  − −
Ellaway 200145*Scotland UrbanXS25–65 years592 adults from four neighbourhoods2, 3, 9C  =  social cohesion—neighbourhood attraction, psychological sense of community and neighbouring behaviourCMD measured using GHQ12MultivariateC  =  − −
Runyan 199846*USAXS2–5 years6673, 6C  =  neighbourhood supportChild development  =  BDSTMultivariateC  =  −
Child behaviour  =  CBCL combined into “child doing well” yes/no
Aneshensel 199647*USA 1 countyXS12–17 years877 adolescents from 49 census tracts2, 3, 9C  =  social cohesion—whether kids and adults know each other, whether people are friendlyDepression  =  CDIMultivariateC  =  Depression  =  − − Anxiety  =  −
Anxiety  =  HopkinsODD  =  −
Symptom Checklist.Conduct disorder  =  +
Oppositional defiant disorder and conduct disorder  =  Stony Brook Child Psychiatric Checklist-3R
Ross 200048*USA 1 countyXS18+ years24702, 3, 5Informal social ties with neighboursCMD measured using Modified CES-DMultilevel− −
Mitchell 200249*USA Urban poorXSAdults (age NS)2223, 6, 10C  =  trust, bridging ties with dissimilar peopleCMD measured using modifiedMultivariateC  =  −
S  =  group membershipCES-DS  =  + +
Brown 199250*USA UrbanXSAdult African-American (age NS)9272, 3, 6S  =  membership of voluntary associationsCMD measured using CES-DMultivariateS  =  −
Dumont 200251§USA Urban poorXSAdult African-American and Latino women (age NS)397 women from 317 census block groups2, 3, 6, 9, 10C  =  social cohesion—neighbourhood attraction and sense of communityCMD measured using CES-DMultivariateC  =  − −
Dumont 200252§USA Urban poorXSAfrican-American and Latino children aged 7–10131 children from 121 census block groups2, 3, 6, 9C  =  social cohesion—neighbourhood attraction and sense of communityDISC 2.3 (mother’s report) internalising and externalising symptomsMultivariateC  = 
Internalising  =  −
Externalising  =  − −
O’Brien 199653*Russia RuralXS482 heads of households (age NS)482 adults from 3 villages2, 3, 9Community involvement and how well “fit” into village (integration)CMD measured using modified CES-DMultivariate− −
Thomas 200254§South Africa Urban poorXSWomen under 40 years2652, 3, 6, 8C  =  feeling part of neighbourhoodCMD measured using SRQ20MultivariateC  =  − S  =  .
S  =  joining together with others to address a common issue
Zambia Urban poor266C  =  feeling part of neighbourhood, perception of neighbourhood spiritCMD measured using SRQ20MultivariateC  =  − − S  =  −
S  =  group membership
Harpham 200255*Columbia Urban poorXS15–25 years10603, 6, 9C  =  thin trust, thick trust, cohesion, social support, informal social controlCMD measured using SRQ20MultivariateC  = . S  =  .
S  =  civic participation