Social capital and self-rated health among adolescents in Brazil: an exploratory study
1 Department of Social and Preventive Dentistry, Federal University of Minas Gerais, 6627 Presidente Antônio Carlos Ave, Belo Horizonte, MG 31270-901, Brazil
2 Department of Society, Human Development and Health, Harvard School of Public Health, 677 Huntington Ave, Boston MA 02115, USA
BMC Research Notes 2010, 3:338 doi:10.1186/1756-0500-3-338Published: 16 December 2010
Social capital may influence health and the patterns of association differ according its dimension such as cognitive, behavioral, bridging or bonding. There is a few numbers of studies in Latin America which comprise these aspects of social capital and health. The aim of this study was to examine the association between social capital and self-rated health among youth, and distinguish between the different forms of social capital - cognitive versus behavioral, and bonding versus bridging.
A cross-sectional study was conducted in 2009 among working adolescents supported by a Brazilian NGO. The sample comprised 363 individuals and data were collected using a validated structured questionnaire. The outcome, self-rated health, was measured as a dichotomous variable (poor/good health) and fourteen social capital indicators were investigated (cognitive, behavioral and bonding/bridging). Data were analyzed using multivariate logistic regression. Cognitive (social support and trust), behavioral (civic participation) and bridging social capital were associated with good self-rated health after adjustment of all the other social capital indicators and confounders (sex, age, skin color and educational background).
Social capital was associated with self-rated health and the patterns of association differed according its specific dimensions. Cognitive, behavioral and bridging social capitals were protective for adolescents health living in a developing country context..