Not all social capital is good capital

Spencer Moore, Mark Daniel, Lise Gauvin, Laurette Dubé

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

113 Citations (Scopus)


Limited empirical research on social capital has investigated the potential downside of social capital on health and well-being. We hypothesized that social capital and mastery might vary according to education with lower-educated persons experiencing fewer advantages. This study used a stratified cluster design to recruit a volunteer sample of 332 adult residents from 7 metropolitan census tracts. The survey included a position generator to collect social capital network data. Generalized estimating equations were used to account for the clustering of respondents in census tracts. Results indicated a differential association between individual social capital and mastery according to educational attainment. Among persons with a high school degree or more, higher social capital was associated with a higher sense of mastery; among less-educated persons, higher individual social capital was associated with lower mastery. Differences in the pathways by which lower- and upper-educated groups access social capital may play a role in social capital's negative association with psychological well-being.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1071-1077
Number of pages7
JournalHealth and Place
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2009
Externally publishedYes


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