Gender differences in relationships between social capital and individual smoking and drinking behavior in Taiwan

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Abstract

Despite the concept of social capital receiving great attention in the area of health research, few studies have analyzed the differential effects of social capital between genders. This article assesses gender differences in the relationships between social capital and smoking and drinking behavior in Taiwan. Data on individual sociodemographic characteristics, smoking, drinking, and social capital were obtained from the Taiwan Social Change Survey conducted in 1995 and in 2000. The overall response rate was 67%. In total, 3713 women and men aged over 20 years living in 204 neighborhoods were interviewed. Social capital indicators were aggregated at the neighborhood level, and included neighborhood closeness, political influence, social contact, social trust, and social participation. The data were analyzed with multilevel binomial regression models. Gender differences were found in some aspects of social capital. Stronger effects of social trust on smoking were found for women than for men, whereas stronger effects of neighborhood closeness on drinking were found for women than for men. Social participation was positively associated with drinking in both genders. The findings of this study provide new evidence for the differential effects of social capital by gender in Taiwan, suggesting that more studies are needed to understand social capital's effects in Asian societies and the mechanisms by which the effects may vary with gender.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1321-1330
Number of pages10
JournalSocial Science and Medicine
Volume67
Issue number8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2008

Fingerprint

Drinking Behavior
social capital
drinking
smoking
Taiwan
gender-specific factors
gender
Smoking
social participation
Social Participation
Drinking
social relations
Social Capital
Gender differences
Social capital
Gender Differences
political influence
Statistical Models
social change
Social Change

Keywords

  • Drinking
  • Gender
  • Neighborhoods
  • Smoking
  • Social capital
  • Taiwan

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Social Psychology
  • Development
  • Health(social science)

Cite this

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abstract = "Despite the concept of social capital receiving great attention in the area of health research, few studies have analyzed the differential effects of social capital between genders. This article assesses gender differences in the relationships between social capital and smoking and drinking behavior in Taiwan. Data on individual sociodemographic characteristics, smoking, drinking, and social capital were obtained from the Taiwan Social Change Survey conducted in 1995 and in 2000. The overall response rate was 67{\%}. In total, 3713 women and men aged over 20 years living in 204 neighborhoods were interviewed. Social capital indicators were aggregated at the neighborhood level, and included neighborhood closeness, political influence, social contact, social trust, and social participation. The data were analyzed with multilevel binomial regression models. Gender differences were found in some aspects of social capital. Stronger effects of social trust on smoking were found for women than for men, whereas stronger effects of neighborhood closeness on drinking were found for women than for men. Social participation was positively associated with drinking in both genders. The findings of this study provide new evidence for the differential effects of social capital by gender in Taiwan, suggesting that more studies are needed to understand social capital's effects in Asian societies and the mechanisms by which the effects may vary with gender.",
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