Social participation, interpersonal trust, and health: A study of 65- and 75-year-olds in western Finland

Fredrica Nyqvist, Mikael Nygård, Gunborg Jakobsson

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Aim: To study the association between social participation, interpersonal trust, and self-rated health among 65- and 75-year-olds. Methods: The data originates from a cross-sectional postal questionnaire survey conducted among 1577 persons aged 65 and 75 years in western Finland (response rate 67%). Logistic regression analyses were performed in order to investigate the association between social capital - in terms social participation and interpersonal trust - and health while controlling for sociodemographic variables. Results: The results showed that the social participation indicator ("active membership in organisations") was positively associated with health among 75-year-olds, but not among 65-year-olds. By contrast, interpersonal trust was positively associated with health in both age groups. Conclusions: The results imply that social participation and its association with health is moderated by age, whereas interpersonal trust is not.
Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Pages (from-to)431–438
Number of pages8
JournalScandinavian Journal of Public Health
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2012
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • interpersonal trust
  • self-rated health
  • social capital
  • social participation
  • older adults

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