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ERIC Number: EJ1039730
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014-Aug
Pages: 17
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 99
ISSN: ISSN-1090-1981
Developing Behavioral Theory with the Systematic Integration of Community Social Capital Concepts
Samuel, Laura J.; Commodore-Mensah, Yvonne; Dennison Himmelfarb, Cheryl R.
Health Education & Behavior, v41 n4 p359-375 Aug 2014
Health behavior theories state that social environments influence health behaviors, but theories of how this occurs are relatively underdeveloped. This article systematically surveys community social capital concepts in health behavior literature and proposes a conceptual framework that integrates these concepts into existing behavioral theory. Fifty-three studies tested associations between community social capital concepts and physical activity (38 studies), smoking (19 studies), and diet (2 studies). Trustworthiness of community members was consistently associated with more health-promoting and less disease-promoting behaviors in 19 studies. Neighborly reciprocity showed mixed results in 10 studies. Reporting a good sense of community was associated with more physical activity in only 5 of 16 studies. Neighborhood collective efficacy, which includes social cohesion and informal social control, was inconsistently associated with behaviors in 22 studies. Behavioral social norms were associated with smoking and physical activity in 2 of 6 studies, and neighborhood modeling of physical activity was associated with increased activity in 12 of 17 studies, with 1 opposing result. This review identifies several community social capital-related concepts that are, at times, associated with both health-promoting and disease-promoting behaviors and often have no associations. Theory explains these findings by describing the relationships and interactions among these concepts. Using these findings, this article proposes a conceptual framework that integrates community social capital concepts into existing behavioral theory. Iterative empirically based theory development is needed to address these concepts, which affect behaviors. These results can also inform theoretically based community-based and socially tailored interventions.
SAGE Publications. 2455 Teller Road, Thousand Oaks, CA 91320. Tel: 800-818-7243; Tel: 805-499-9774; Fax: 800-583-2665; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research; Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: National Institutes of Health (DHHS)
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: 1F31NR012087|5T32NR007968-07