Social capital and the health and wellbeing of children and adolescents

Document type
McPherson, Kerri E; Kerr, Susan; McGee, Elizabeth
Glasgow Centre for Population Health
Date of publication
1 May 2013
Findings series; 38
Children and Young People, Community Development and Regeneration, Health Services
Social welfare
Material type

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This Briefing paper summarises and discusses the results from a systematic review of the literature on the role and impact of social capital on the health and wellbeing of children and adolescents. An integrative approach was taken, which enabled the synthesis of evidence generated in quantitative and qualitative studies; the majority of the studies included were cross-sectional surveys. The results demonstrate that young people can access social capital through other people (e.g. their parents) and networks (e.g. their community) and they can generate their own (e.g. through friendships). They show a link between family and community social capital and the health and wellbeing of children and adolescents; however, as most studies were cross-sectional surveys the direction of this association cannot be determined with certainty.

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