Paula Bernander

Faculty Advisor

Randy Larkins

Document Type


Publication Date



This study analyzed the relationship between social capital and global health indicators. Countries from all regions, economic standings, and political models were included (N=58). Epidemiologically a dramatic shift is occurring in the burden of disease. This research attempts to illuminate the complexity of community health and the implications of ignoring social influences on physical health. Previous research has clearly shown the benefits of social capital on health at the individual and communal level and between developed nations, but little study has been given to large-sample, cross-national indicators. Social capital was measured using selected items from the World Values Survey Wave 6 (2010-2014). Global health indicators were obtained from the World Bank Databank and include but are not limited to life expectancy, mortality rates, suicide rates, and prevalence of smoking, overweight, and diabetes. Regression models were applied to test the hypotheses that global health indicators are affected by social capital. At the time of printing, the results were pending. The findings will be applicable to understanding the dynamic pathways of health, in designing public health interventions, and in recognizing the potential for social capital to improve global health. Future research should explore to what extent this relationship exists longitudinally, examine the mechanism of this relationship, and investigate how to increase social capital to improve public health outcomes.