Social Capital in Schools

  • Marianna Virtanen
  • Jenni Ervasti
  • Tuula Oksanen
  • Mika Kivimäki
  • Jussi Vahtera


The theory of social capital was first introduced in a rural school community study by Hanifan (Ann Am Acad Polit Soc Sci 67:130–138, 1916). Since then, the theory and research have focused more on family and neighborhood contexts and on adult outcomes. All forms of capital in schools—financial, human, and social capital—are recognized predictors of children’s and adolescents’ well-being. Although evidence supporting the existence of a positive effect of school social capital on the well-being of the whole school community is accumulating, less is known about the associations between school social capital and students’ health and health risk behaviors. Most research on school social capital has addressed its impact on academic achievement and social adjustment among young people, and consistent evidence has suggested that these are positively related. The research suggests that it is important to recognize children and adolescents as active agents who create their own social capital and who themselves shape their communities and schools as contexts where social capital can be developed and maintained.


Social Capital Human Capital Academic Achievement Health Risk Behavior Financial Capital 
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 New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marianna Virtanen
    • 1
  • Jenni Ervasti
    • 1
  • Tuula Oksanen
    • 2
  • Mika Kivimäki
    • 3
    • 4
  • Jussi Vahtera
    • 2
  1. 1.Finnish Institute of Occupational HealthHelsinkiFinland
  2. 2.Finnish Institute of Occupational HealthTurkuFinland
  3. 3.Department of Epidemiology and Public HealthUniversity College LondonLondonUK
  4. 4.Finnish Institute of Occupational HealthHelsinkiFinland

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