Social Capital and Health - Findings from the Scottish Health Survey and Scottish Social Attitudes Survey

This paper explores the Scottish evidence for a link between social capital and health outcomes to inform the ongoing development of an assets-based approach to addressing health problems and inequalities.

5 Conclusions

5.1 This paper provides further evidence of the potential relationship between social capital assets and better health. In particular, having people to turn to in a crisis, having frequent contact with family, friends and neighbours and feeling involved in and able to influence the local area appear to be important. In interpreting these findings, it is worth noting that the greatest differences appear to be between the (often relatively small) group of people who have very little social capital - those who have social contact with others once or twice a month or less, those who have two or fewer people they can rely on in a crisis, and those who have no involvement in their community at all - and the rest of the population. Improving the social capital of these groups even a little might, therefore, have significant impacts for their health and wellbeing. However, this of course assumes that their lower levels of general health stem from - rather than being a cause of - their relatively low levels of social capital assets.


Email: Linzie Liddell

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