Measuring Social Capital at the Individual Level

Personal Social Capital, Values and Psychological Distress

H. Berry, Debra Rickwood

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

26 Citations (Scopus)


It is proposed that social capital, a societal-level construct, can be measured at the individual level. This ‘personal social capital’ is a psychological construct defined as a logically linked sequence of social behaviours: community participation, social support and trust in others. Individuals who have more personal social capital will participate in their communities more and have more social support, greater trust in others and less psychological distress than those with less. It was also predicted that social values would influence levels of personal social capital, indirectly influencing distress. Structural equations modelling revealed that, within the construct of personal social capital, the strongest predictor of distress was community trust. Harmony values also directly predicted distress, while security values had an indirect effect via reduced community participation, social support and community trust.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)35-43
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Public Mental Health
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2000


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