Social capital and health in malaria-prevalent areas of the Solomon Islands

Kobe J Med Sci. 2011 Dec 15;57(2):E49-62.


Social capital and health have drawn much attention in public health. Employing three models, this study examines relationships between vertical/horizontal/comprehensive social capital, self-rated health, malaria infection, as well as health-related behaviors/attitudes. In Model 1, odds ratios were calculated to scrutinize the relationships between component variables of social capital and "Self-rated health," one by one. In Model 2, the variable "Health," which combined "Self-rated health" and malaria infection, was used in lieu of "Self-rated health" in Model 1. Lastly, Model 3 utilized three composite measures of social capital and examined their associations with health, and health-related behaviors/attitudes. Model 1 highlighted associations between some of the components of vertical social capital and self-rated health, whereas, in Model 2, it was elucidated that some of the constituent factors classified as horizontal social capital have significant relationships with "Health." The most comprehensive approach in this study, Model 3, found significant associations between: Horizontal Social Capital (HSC) and "Health"; HSC and infection with malaria; and Vertical Social Capital (VSC) and malaria infection. In addition, Comprehensive Social Capital (CSC) and "Health," CSC and malaria infection, and, finally, CSC and "Feeling threatened by malaria in the community" were found to be significantly associated. In conclusion, the three methods employed in this study indicated some significant associations between social capital (or its components) and health outcomes in general and social capital and malaria infection in particular. It is noteworthy that Model 3 resulted in demonstrating significant relationships between HSC, VSC, respectively on the one hand, and malaria infection, on the other. Hence, developing social capital should possibly help deal with or reduce malaria infection, particularly in nations where other resources are scarce.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Female
  • Health Behavior
  • Humans
  • Malaria / epidemiology*
  • Malaria / prevention & control
  • Malaria / psychology
  • Male
  • Melanesia / epidemiology
  • Prevalence
  • Public Health
  • Social Environment