Measuring aspects of social capital in a gerontological perspective

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Tine Poulsen, Ulla Christensen, Rikke Lund, Kirsten Avlund

Within the last 10 years, there has been a growing interest in the importance of social capital and older people. The aims of the study are to advance measurements of aspects of social capital based on bonding, bridging and linking that can be used to study the impact of the local community on community-dwelling older populations and to study the distribution of these three measurements of social capital in 34 municipalities. Data are from a Danish prospective cohort study on preventive home visits among 4,034 old people 75? in 34 municipalities in Denmark. The measurements of aspects of social capital at community level are based on theory of bonding, bridging and linking social capital. It has been possible to analyse variations in the three measurements of social capital in the 34 municipalities and to characterize different municipalities according to high versus low social capital. There are interesting patterns in distribution of the three measurements. The two extreme groups of municipalities (high and low social capital) differ with regard to demography, social and structural conditions in the municipalities. We believe that the proposed measures of social capital will be relevant in future studies of social capital and health in older populations, since they are theoretically based and cover different aspects of social capital related to older people and their local community.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEuropean Journal of Ageing
Volume8
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)221-232
ISSN1613-9372
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2011

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