Neighborhood social capital and adult health: an empirical test of a Bourdieu-based model

Health Place. 2007 Sep;13(3):639-55. doi: 10.1016/j.healthplace.2006.09.001. Epub 2006 Nov 3.


Drawing upon Bourdieu's [1986. The forms of capital. In: Richardson, J.G. (Ed.), Handbook of Theory and Research for the Sociology of Education. Greenwood, New York, pp. 241-258.] social capital theory, I test a conceptual model of neighborhood conditions and social capital - considering relationships between neighborhood social capital forms (social support, social leverage, informal social control, and neighborhood organization participation) and adult health behaviors (smoking, binge drinking) and perceived health, as well as interactions between neighborhood social capital and individuals' access to that social capital. Analyzing Los Angeles Family and Neighborhood Survey data linked with tract level census data, results suggest that specific social capital forms were directly associated with both positive and negative health outcomes. Additionally, residents' neighborhood attachment moderated relationships between various social capital forms and health. Future studies should consider social capital resources and the role of differential access to such resources for promoting or compromising health.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Behavioral Research / methods*
  • Community Participation
  • Health Status*
  • Humans
  • Los Angeles
  • Models, Theoretical
  • Residence Characteristics*
  • Social Control, Informal
  • Social Support*
  • Social Values
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Sociology, Medical* / economics
  • Trust