n African Journal for Physical Health Education, Recreation and Dance - Social capital of older persons living at a residential facility in Durban, South Africa : primary health / community health

Supplement 1
  • ISSN : 1117-4315


Older persons (60+) are subject to psychological and physical changes that may strain social capital, which is a strong contributor to wellbeing. The purpose of the study was to describe the individual social capital of older persons residing in a purposively selected residential facility in Durban, South Africa, in order to identify possible ways of promoting the health of older persons through increasing social connectedness.The research design was a non-experimental quantitative descriptive survey using self-administered questionnaires for residents (N = 103) who met the inclusion criteria. A researchers' developed questionnaire with a social capital section framed within, and the Canadian Policy Research Initiative framework, was used for data collection. This article focuses on four social capital questions of the Australian Bureau of Statistics Indigenous Questionnaire and the OSLO-3 Social Support Scale. Network dynamics of trust, social support, and self-efficacy were relatively dominant in primary social networks. Despite low density of the primary social network, it was an asset to be confided in, build self-efficacy, and ultimately social capital. A network approach in building social capital buffers against loneliness which can arise from social disconnectedness. Face-to-face contact with a primary network has strong relevance and warrants consideration when planning a health promotion intervention.

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