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Social capital and mental health 

Social capital and mental health
Social capital and mental health

Kwame McKenzie

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date: 18 October 2021

fSocial capital is a theory that attempts to describe features of the fabric of society. It identifies factors in populations such as the level of civic participation, social networks, and levels of trust because such forces shape the quality and quantity of social interactions and institutions that underpin society. Two questions have dominated the literature: can social capital prevent or cause mental illness, and does the level or type of social capital have an impact on the rate of mental illness? Though the quality and strength of the literature is at best patchy, the general conclusion is that there is an association between higher levels of some types of social capital and a lower risk of mental health problems. This chapter discusses the possible mechanisms at multiple levels through which social capital may change the risk and rates of mental illness.

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