Communicative social capital and collective efficacy as determinants of access to health-enhancing resources in residential communities

Matthew D. Matsaganis, Holley A. Wilkin

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

42 Scopus citations


This article contributes to the burgeoning literature on the social determinants of health disparities. The authors investigate how communication resources and collective efficacy, independently and in combination, shape residents access to health enhancing resources (including healthcare services, sources of healthier food options, and public recreation spaces) in their communities. Using random digit dial telephone survey data from 833 residents of South Los Angeles communities the authors show that communicative social capital-that is, an information and problem-solving resource that accrues to residents as they become more integrated into their local communication network of neighbors, community organizations, and local media-plays a significant role in access to health resources. This relationship is complicated by individuals health insurance and health status, as communicative social capital magnifies the sense of absence of resources for those who are in worse health and lack insurance. Communicative social capital builds collective efficacy, which is positively related to access to health-enhancing resources, but it also mediates the negative relationship between communicative social capital and access to health resources. Residents with richer stores of communicative social capital and collective efficacy report better access to health resources. The authors conclude with a discussion of implications of these findings and suggestions for future research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)377-386
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Health Communication
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 3 2015
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Health(social science)
  • Communication
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Library and Information Sciences


Dive into the research topics of 'Communicative social capital and collective efficacy as determinants of access to health-enhancing resources in residential communities'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this