To determine the associations between the cognitive aspects of social capital and mental health status in older adults.METHODS:
Data on older people (65 years of age or older, n = 1,102) were retrieved from a general population mental health survey conducted in Finland in 2008. The response rate was 61%. The associations between self-reported depression (measured by the Composite International Diagnostic Interview Short Form, CIDI-SF) or psychological distress (measured by the General Health Questionnaire, GHQ-12) and perceived social support, sense of belonging, and trust were tested by logistic regression analyses.RESULTS:
For the cognitive social capital indicators, difficult access to help from neighbours showed a significant association with depression. Furthermore, not having people to count on, experiencing a lack of concern from other people, and feeling mistrust towards other people were all significantly associated with psychological distress.CONCLUSIONS:
Links between mental health and cognitive social capital indicate that social support and trust may be important factors to consider when developing interventions to promote mental health and prevent mental disorders among older adults.