To examine whether specific dimensions of social capital are related to self-rated health and psychological well-being.
Cross-sectional data from a health survey representing the adult Finnish population (N?=?8,028) were used. Logistic regression analysis was used to reveal and quantify the possible associations between three dimensions of social capital (social support; social participation and networks; trust and reciprocity) and two general health indicators (self-rated health and psychological well-being). The roles of age, gender, education, living arrangements, income, type of region, functional capacity, and long-standing illness were also assessed.
Good self-rated health was associated with high levels of social participation and networks and trust and reciprocity, but social support did not remain statistically significant after adjustment for socio-demographic factors, long-standing illness, and functional capacity. The association between social support and psychological well-being was explained by the other two dimensions of social capital. The strong positive association between trust and psychological well-being persisted after controlling for all the other factors in our model.
Our findings suggest that trust and reciprocity and social participation and networks contribute to good self-rated health and psychological well-being.