Measurement of Individual Social Capital

Questions, Instruments, and Measures
  • Martin Van Der Gaag
  • Martin Webber


The idea that social relationships can be conceptualized as potentially productive, “social” additions to personally owned resources has been welcomed as an attractive, explanatory mechanism in many areas of social and economic research. The assessment of resources embedded in social networks, potentially available to individuals or the larger community as a whole, has gradually become an established extension to conceptual models which may provide useful, additional explanations for many research questions with socio-demographic aspects. Although still enmeshed in debates about the meaning of “social capital”, health researchers are also gradually realizing the explanatory potential of this concept to health outcomes. However, the translation of this idea into valid and reliable quantification has proven to be cumbersome, as the number of leads that can be followed in matters of operationalisation and measurement have proved labyrinthine; this has resulted in many incomparable measures and instruments (Flap, 1999, 2004).


Social Capital Network Member Social Resource Common Mental Disorder Social Network Member 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Martin Van Der Gaag
    • 1
  • Martin Webber
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Public Administration and Communication SciencesVrije Universiteit AmsterdamAmsterdamThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Institute of PsychiatryKings College LondonLondonU.K

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