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Does social capital predict happiness, health and life satisfaction in an urban Australian community?

Miller, Evonne & Buys, Laurie (2008) Does social capital predict happiness, health and life satisfaction in an urban Australian community? Kōtuitui: New Zealand Journal of Social Sciences Online, 3(1), 15-20..

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Abstract

This paper investigates the extent to which social capital and participation in community activities predicts happiness, health and life satisfaction in Australia. Residents of a Gold Coast suburb completed a random door-to-door survey, with a 74% response rate (n=249). Ordinal regression analyses revealed that only two elements of social capital, Value of Life and Feelings of Trust and Safety, predicted happiness (b =.4, ,p=.00; b=.12 ,p=.00), life satisfaction (b =.46, p=.00; b=.09, p= 0.02) and health (b =.29, p=.00; b=.11, p=.00). In terms of community activities, not participating in social activities predicted both unhappiness (b =-.16, p=.05) and reduced life satisfaction (b=-.20, p= 0.01). Such findings suggest that how social capital is defined and measured is important, as only two of the seven elements predicted happiness, life satisfaction and health. The key implication is that implementing strategies, initiatives and urban designs that facilitate feelings of trust and safety may foster health, happiness and life satisfaction.

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ID Code: 16995
Item Type: Journal Article
Keywords: social capital, community, health, happiness, quality of life
DOI: 10.1080/1177083X.2008.9522429
ISSN: 1177-083X
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY (160000) > SOCIOLOGY (160800)
Divisions: Past > QUT Faculties & Divisions > Faculty of Built Environment and Engineering
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2008 Royal Society Of New Zealand
Deposited On: 18 Dec 2008 10:05
Last Modified: 18 Nov 2013 10:38

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