206901 Health status and social capital in the Black Belt of Alabama

Tuesday, November 10, 2009: 9:00 AM

H.R. Foushee, PhD , Center for the Study of Community Health, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL
Suparna Bagchi, MSPH , Department of Maternal and Child Health, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL
Connie Kohler, DrPH , Department of Health Behavior, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL
Yu-Mei Schoenberger, PhD , Health Behavior, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL
Brad Lian, PhD , College of Human & Environmental Services, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Tuscaloosa, AL
Social capital has facilitated understanding of the relationship between social environment and health. This study examined the association of nine social capital measures with ratings of general health, stress, and disease history. An in-person survey was completed among 1402 adult respondents from twenty-one communities in seven Black Belt counties. The questionnaire contained measures of social capital including community differences, community limitations, general participation, charitable participation, protest participation, trust, selfishness, spirit of participation, and community influence. Bivariate analysis revealed that most social capital measures were significantly associated with ratings of general health and stress, but less so for disease history. In the multivariate analyses, several social capital measures remained significantly associated with general health, stress, and disease history. Gender differences were observed with social capital having greater association with women's health. Identifying the aspects of social capital that are correlated with health outcomes may provide vital areas of influence to improve the health of people in traditionally underserved regions through interventions to raise social capital levels.

Learning Objectives:
1. Assess levels of social capital in a low-income, rural population. 2. Describe the relationship between social capital and ratings of health status and stress. 3. Identify social capital components important for educational programs for improving community health.

Keywords: Stress, Community-Based Health Promotion

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have a PhD in social psychology and fifteen years of survey research experience. I was involved in study design, questionnaire development, data collection, and analysis
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.