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Individual and community social capital, mobility restrictions, and psychological distress during the COVID-19 pandemic: a multilevel analysis of a representative US survey*

Title
Individual and community social capital, mobility restrictions, and psychological distress during the COVID-19 pandemic: a multilevel analysis of a representative US survey*
Authors
Laurence, JamesKim, Harris Hyun-Soo
Ewha Authors
김현수
SCOPUS Author ID
김현수scopus
Issue Date
2021
Journal Title
SOCIAL SCIENCE & MEDICINE
ISSN
0277-9536JCR Link

1873-5347JCR Link
Citation
SOCIAL SCIENCE & MEDICINE vol. 287
Keywords
COVID-19Mobility restrictionsIndividual social capitalCommunity social capitalPsychological-distress
Publisher
PERGAMON-ELSEVIER SCIENCE LTD
Indexed
SCIE; SSCI; SCOPUS WOS scopus
Document Type
Article
Abstract
This paper explores the role of social capital in mitigating the mental health harms of social/mobility restrictions instigated in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. We test whether: (a) social capital continued to predict lower mental distress during the pandemic; and (b) whether social capital buffered (moderated) the harm of social/ mobility restrictions on psychological distress. In addition, we test the level at which social capital mitigation effects operated, i.e., at the individual-and/or contextual-level. To do so, we apply multilevel models to three waves of the COVID-19 Household Impact Survey consisting of probability samples of U.S. adults (with the average interview completion rate of 93%). In a novel approach, we explore two modes of capturing contextual social capital: aggregated individual-level survey responses and independently measured social capital indices (SCIs). Findings show that at the individual level social capital was associated with lower psychological distress. It also buffered the harm of restrictions: increasing restrictions had a weaker effect on distress among individuals interacting with neighbors more frequently. Importantly, mitigating processes of contextual social capital appeared conditional on how it was measured. Using aggregated survey responses, contextual social capital had no direct effect on distress but exerted an additional buffering role: individuals in counties with higher average neighbor-interaction experienced a weaker impact of restrictions. Using the independent SCI measures, we found county social capital reduced distress. However, its negative effect on distress becomes increasingly weaker the more restrictions an individual reported: where individuals reported lower restrictions, higher county SCI reduced distress; however, where individuals reported higher restrictions, higher county SCI had no effect on distress. More restrictive environments thus cut individuals off from the benefits of higher county social capital as measured using the SCI.
DOI
10.1016/j.socscimed.2021.114361
Appears in Collections:
사회과학대학 > 사회학전공 > Journal papers
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