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Social capital: Implications for neurology

08 Dec 2018

Social capital (SC) refers to the resources derived from the cooperation between individuals and groups that partially explain how social conditions influence health and mortality. The role of SC in neurological disease is just beginning to be explored. Concerted efforts are needed to ensure that empirical evidence on SC could be properly translated into interventions for health‐promoting purposes.

Abstract

Social capital (SC) is a broad term that encompasses the many resources derived from social connections. The contemporary study of SC in public health has deep roots in the related fields of sociology, economics, and politics. Its multidisciplinary nature and the varying potential ways it could affect individuals have resulted in different but overlapping models to approach SC in the health field. There are currently no standardized measures of SC, and even more challenging its impact on health outcomes seems to vary according to the level of analysis. Despite the accumulating evidence that supports a protective effect of SC on mental and physical health, and mortality, not enough attention has been paid to the potential drawbacks of SC. The role of SC in neurological disease is just beginning to be explored. Concerted efforts are needed to ensure that empirical evidence on SC could be properly translated into interventions for health‐promoting purposes. In this paper, we review the current state of scientific knowledge on the subject of SC, with a focus on its application in the field of neurology.

Click here to view the full article which appeared in Brain and Behavior