The effect of social capital on health: The case of two language groups in Finland

Fredrica Nyqvist, Fjalar Finnäs, Gunborg Jakobsson, Seppo Koskinen

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63 Citations (Scopus)


The aim of this study was to examine the association between individual-level social capital and two aspects of self-reported health-self-rated health and psychological health-in Finland. Data were taken from a nationwide survey conducted in year 2000/2001. Two language groups, the Swedish-speakers and the Finnish-speakers in Finland were used as examples to illustrate ethnic differences in social capital. Moreover, social capital was used to explore the reasons behind health inequalities between the language groups. The results of the study demonstrated a positive association between individual-level cognitive social capital and the health outcomes. We further found that Swedish-speakers possess more structural and cognitive social capital compared to Finnish-speakers. Social capital explains to some extent health differences between the language groups. The results indicate the importance of considering ethnic differences in social determinants of health. (C) 2007 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Pages (from-to)347–360
Number of pages14
JournalHealth and Place
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2008
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • individual-level social capital
  • language groups
  • psychological health
  • self-rated health

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