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Social capital and self-rated health among older adults: a comparative analysis of Finland, Poland and Spain

journal contribution
posted on 2023-06-09, 15:38 authored by Eleni Koutsogeorgou, Fredrica Nyqvist, Mikael Nygard, Milda Cerniauskaite, Rui Quintas, Alberto Raggi, Matilde Leonardi
The aim of this paper is to investigate the association between structural and cognitive aspects of social capital and self-rated health among adults aged 50 or more, living in three countries: Finland, Poland and Spain. The study, which was based on data from the European Social Survey (2008/09), was a part of the EU research project COURAGE in Europe. More specifically the paper assesses the association between social capital indicators – informal social network and general trust – and good self-rated health through single-level and joint effects analyses. The results showed that Finland was a country of high social capital, in terms of both social networks and general trust, while Spain showed low levels of general trust and Poland low levels of informal social networks. As to the association between social capital and self-rated health, high levels of general trust and high networks were found to be associated with good health among all countries' respondents. Older persons living in partnerships, with higher education, higher levels of engagement in informal networks and general trust, were found to be more likely to show good self-rated health. Our comparative analyses revealed different associations between social capital and health according to country.


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  • Published


Ageing and Society




Cambridge University Press





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  • Sociology and Criminology Publications

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