Social environments and health: cross sectional national survey

BMJ 2001; 323 doi: (Published 28 July 2001) Cite this as: BMJ 2001;323:208
  1. Andrew McCulloch, senior research officer ([email protected])
  1. Institute for Economic and Social Research, University of Essex, Colchester CO4 3SQ
  • Accepted 4 July 2001

Researchers are increasingly interested in studying the effects of the social environment on health.1 The concept of social capital has been put forward as one explanation for why some communities work better than others, with benefits for the whole of the local population.2 Social capital is applied to those features of a community that promote cohesion and a sense of belonging and that enable its members to cooperate. Similarly, criminologists have argued that the level of social organisation in a neighbourhood, or the degree to which residents are able to realise common goals and exercise social control, links the social composition of a neighbourhood and rates of deviant behaviour.3 We investigated how individual's reports of social capital and social disorganisation are associated with health outcomes among …

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