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      The association of neighbourhood and individual social capital with consistent self-rated health: a longitudinal study in Brazilian pregnant and postpartum women

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          Abstract

          Background

          Social conditions, social relationships and neighbourhood environment, the components of social capital, are important determinants of health. The objective of this study was to investigate the association of neighbourhood and individual social capital with consistent self-rated health in women between the first trimester of pregnancy and six months postpartum.

          Methods

          A multilevel cohort study in 34 neighbourhoods was performed on 685 Brazilian women recruited at antenatal units in two cities in the State of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Self-rated health (SRH) was assessed in the 1st trimester of pregnancy (baseline) and six months after childbirth (follow-up). The participants were divided into two groups: 1. Good SRH – good SRH at baseline and follow-up, and, 2. Poor SRH – poor SRH at baseline and follow-up. Exploratory variables collected at baseline included neighbourhood social capital (neighbourhood-level variable), individual social capital (social support and social networks), demographic and socioeconomic characteristics, health-related behaviours and self-reported diseases. A hierarchical binomial multilevel analysis was performed to test the association between neighbourhood and individual social capital and SRH, adjusted for covariates.

          Results

          The Good SRH group reported higher scores of social support and social networks than the Poor SRH group. Although low neighbourhood social capital was associated with poor SRH in crude analysis, the association was not significant when individual socio-demographic variables were included in the model. In the final model, women reporting poor SRH both at baseline and follow-up had lower levels of social support (positive social interaction) [OR 0.82 (95% CI: 0.73-0.90)] and a lower likelihood of friendship social networks [OR 0.61 (95% CI: 0.37-0.99)] than the Good SRH group. The characteristics that remained associated with poor SRH were low level of schooling, Black and Brown ethnicity, more children, urinary infection and water plumbing outside the house.

          Conclusions

          Low individual social capital during pregnancy, considered here as social support and social network, was independently associated with poor SRH in women whereas neighbourhood social capital did not affect women’s SRH during pregnancy and the months thereafter. From pregnancy and up to six months postpartum, the effect of individual social capital explained better the consistency of SRH over time than neighbourhood social capital.

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          Most cited references 89

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          The MOS social support survey.

          This paper describes the development and evaluation of a brief, multidimensional, self-administered, social support survey that was developed for patients in the Medical Outcomes Study (MOS), a two-year study of patients with chronic conditions. This survey was designed to be comprehensive in terms of recent thinking about the various dimensions of social support. In addition, it was designed to be distinct from other related measures. We present a summary of the major conceptual issues considered when choosing items for the social support battery, describe the items, and present findings based on data from 2987 patients (ages 18 and older). Multitrait scaling analyses supported the dimensionality of four functional support scales (emotional/informational, tangible, affectionate, and positive social interaction) and the construction of an overall functional social support index. These support measures are distinct from structural measures of social support and from related health measures. They are reliable (all Alphas greater than 0.91), and are fairly stable over time. Selected construct validity hypotheses were supported.
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            Neighborhoods and violent crime: a multilevel study of collective efficacy.

            It is hypothesized that collective efficacy, defined as social cohesion among neighbors combined with their willingness to intervene on behalf of the common good, is linked to reduced violence. This hypothesis was tested on a 1995 survey of 8782 residents of 343 neighborhoods in Chicago, Illinois. Multilevel analyses showed that a measure of collective efficacy yields a high between-neighborhood reliability and is negatively associated with variations in violence, when individual-level characteristics, measurement error, and prior violence are controlled. Associations of concentrated disadvantage and residential instability with violence are largely mediated by collective efficacy.
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              Social capital, income inequality, and mortality.

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                Author and article information

                Journal
                BMC Pregnancy Childbirth
                BMC Pregnancy Childbirth
                BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth
                BioMed Central
                1471-2393
                2013
                16 January 2013
                : 13
                : 1
                Affiliations
                [1 ]National School of Public Health, Oswaldo Cruz Foundation/FIOCRUZ, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
                [2 ]Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, University College London, London, UK
                [3 ]Institute of Studies in Public Health, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
                Article
                1471-2393-13-1
                10.1186/1471-2393-13-1
                3556498
                23324161
                Copyright ©2013 Lamarca et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

                This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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                Research Article

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