Advancing social capital interventions from a network and population health perspective

Spencer Moore*, Jon Salsberg, Janette Leroux

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterAcademicpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Understanding the causal pathways linking social capital to health and health behaviors has been a key challenge within social epidemiological research over the past 15 years. Most studies on social capital have been cross sectional and observational, which has limited their capacity to identify causal pathways and draw conclusive inferences (Kawachi, Subramanian, and Kim, 2008; see Chap. 4). The relative shortage of published social capital and health intervention studies would seem to testify to the fact that social capital theory has yet to be successfully translated into intervention research. Besides lacking causal guarantees, there is also an identity crisis when it comes to social capital interventions. What is a social capital intervention? How would a social capital intervention differ from more familiar interventions seeking to improve such factors as social support or community capacity? Without a clear identity, the concept of a social capital intervention risks being essentially all things to all people. This chapter seeks to address the identity crisis facing research and practice on social capital interventions. The chapter takes a network approach to social capital to advance a defi nition of social capital interventions and a set of guiding principles for developing social capital interventions.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationGlobal Perspectives on Social Capital and Health
PublisherSpringer New York LLC
Number of pages15
ISBN (Electronic)9781461474647
ISBN (Print)9781461474630
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2013
Externally publishedYes


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