Recent studies have found that two state-level measures of social capital, average levels of civic participation and trust, are associated with improvements in individual health status. In this study we employ these measures, together with the Putnam index of state social capital, to examine several key aspects of the relationship between state social capital and individual health. We find that for all three measures, the association with health status persists after carefully adjusting for household income and that for two measures, mistrust and the Putnam index, the size of this association warrants further attention. Using the Putnam index, we find particular support for the hypothesis that social capital has a more pronounced salutary effect for the poor. Our findings generate both support for the social capital and health hypothesis and a number of implications for future research.

The text of this article is only available as a PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.