Association Between Social Capital and Depression

Tuesday, 12 July 2016: 14:45
Location: Hörsaal 6B P (Neues Institutsgebäude (NIG))
Oral Presentation
Johanna MUCKENHUBER, University of Graz, Austria
Karina FERNANDEZ, University of Graz, Austria
Social relationships are known to be related to different aspects of health. One specific concept of social relationships is Pierre Bourdieu’s conception of social capital. Bourdieu developed a theory of different forms of capital. He argues that besides economic and cultural capital also social capital is an important resource for individuals and their chances in their lifes. Previous studies showed that low social capital is related to poor health in general but also for example to higher rates of obesity. Previous research showed that in general weak social networks and weak social support are related to bad mental health. But also low socio economic status, low income and low education are known to be related to bad mental health.
Our aim was to analyse whether low social capital is also related to bad mental health and to mental conditions close to depression. We took particular interest in the question whether social capital retains its influence after adjusting for variables like socio economic status, income and education since these are known to be related to social capital.
We analysed the association between social capital and depression by means of multivariate regression analyses. The database was the 2006/07 Austrian Health Interview Survey (ATHIS), in which 15000 individuals in Austria aged 15 years or older where interviewed. Our results show that low social capital is related to proxies of depression even when adjusting for education and income.