Cultural capital and self-rated health in low income women: evidence from the Urban Health Study, Beirut, Lebanon

J Urban Health. 2006 May;83(3):444-58. doi: 10.1007/s11524-006-9051-8.


This paper examines the association between cultural capital and self-rated psychosocial health among poor, ever-married Lebanese women living in an urban context. Both self-rated general and mental health status were assessed using data from a cross-sectional survey of 1,869 women conducted in 2003. Associations between self-rated general and mental health status and cultural capital were obtained using chi (2) tests and odds ratios from binary logistic regression models. Cultural capital had significant associations with self-perceived general and mental health status net of the effects of social capital, SES, demographics, community and health risk factors. For example, the odds ratios for poor general and mental health associated with low cultural capital were 4.5 (CI: 2.95-6.95) and 2.9 (CI: 2.09-4.05), respectively, as compared to participants with high cultural capital. As expected, health risk factors were significantly associated with both measures of health status. However, demographic and community variables were associated with general health but not with mental health status. The findings pertaining to social capital and measures of SES were mixed. Cultural capital was a powerful and significant predictor of self-perceived general and mental health among women living in poor urban communities.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Culture*
  • Data Collection
  • Female
  • Health Status*
  • Humans
  • Lebanon
  • Logistic Models
  • Mental Health / statistics & numerical data*
  • Middle Aged
  • Poverty
  • Social Identification*
  • Urban Health