Social capital and the utilization of maternal and child health services in India: a multilevel analysis

Health Place. 2014 Jul;28:73-84. doi: 10.1016/j.healthplace.2014.03.011. Epub 2014 Apr 23.


This study examines the association between social capital and the utilization of antenatal care, professional delivery care, and childhood immunizations using a multilevel analytic sample of 10,739 women who recently gave birth and 7403 children between one and five years of age in 2293 communities and 22 state-groups from the 2005 India Human Development Survey. Exploratory factor analysis was used to create and validate six social capital measures that were used in multilevel logistic regression models to examine whether each form of social capital had an independent, contextual effect on health care use. Results revealed that social capital operated at the community level in association with all three care-seeking behaviors; however, the results differed based on the type of health care utilized. Specifically, components of social capital that led to heterogeneous bridging ties were positively associated with all three types of health care use, whereas components of social capital that led to strong bonding ties were negatively associated with the use of preventive care, but positively associated with professional delivery care.

Keywords: India; Maternal and child health; Multilevel analysis; Social capital; Utilization.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Child Health Services / statistics & numerical data*
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunization / statistics & numerical data
  • India
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Maternal Health Services / statistics & numerical data*
  • Middle Aged
  • Multilevel Analysis
  • Rural Population / statistics & numerical data
  • Social Capital*
  • Social Environment
  • Social Support*
  • Sociological Factors
  • Urban Population / statistics & numerical data
  • Young Adult