A Qualitative Investigation of the Relationship of Social Capital and Health Amongst Older Adults in the Kensington Neighborhood of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
There is a strong connection between where people live and their health. The social, cultural and physical conditions in which people live have a large effect on their health outcomes. Research continually shows that individuals in disadvantaged neighborhoods are disproportionately exposed to many psychosocial hazards and in turn they face an uneven distribution of social support varying by socioeconomic status. As residents age in place, most remain active in their community. Of interest is the link between the role of human agency of older adults, as it is manifested in formal and informal networks over time, in affecting the change that alters the neighborhood life cycle and the formation of territory. The objective of this study is to better understand if social capital has a positive effect on health through the use of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. In addition to how this concept affects health, an examination of the resources, including community leaders and related organizations that may already benefit these individuals was made. Participants discussed the effect that the low-income, high crime and potentially dangerous neighborhood has on their health and how social interactions amongst neighbors were lacking due to the fear of the neighborhood’s changing attitudes. Essentially, the attention of residents in this neighborhood is focused within the most basic of needs as described by Maslow. Health beyond the immediate physical level, which focuses on food, shelter, water and rest is not a priority to persons living in Kensington according to both the resident and key informant interviews.
Recommended CitationHaltzman, MS, CCRC, Brittany L., "A Qualitative Investigation of the Relationship of Social Capital and Health Amongst Older Adults in the Kensington Neighborhood of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania" (2016). Master of Public Health Thesis and Capstone Presentations. Presentation 200.