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14 Associations between commuting and social capital in a cross-sectional population survey in southern Sweden
  1. K M Mattisson,
  2. Kristina,
  3. Stroh,
  4. Håkansson
  1. Lund University, Lund, Sweden

Abstract

Objectives Commuting has been claimed to increase the material wealth. Through geographically expanding peoples labour markets, through increased commuting possibilities, more work opportunities occurs that will strengthen the economy. Although economy and flexibility to choose where to live and work will improve for the individual, several studies have shown that health become aggravated with increased commuting. One plausible explanation to the negative health is reduced social capital. Social capital is a resource emerging from social relations and the strength of those, on an individual and societal level. This resource can be used to solve problems of individual and collective character. Our primary hypothesis is that the longer the commuting time the less time for social participation and thereby a lower social capital.

Methods The study design is cross-sectional and the study material consists of two retrospective data sets collected through questionnaires in 2004 and 2008. The study population consist of respondents working more than 30 h/week, 18 to 65 years old and answering questions about commuting (N = 21,088 persons). Commuting is defined as transportation from the home to the work place, characterised by duration one way (<30 min, 30–60 min, >1 h) and mode (active, car, public). Social capital is defined as a combination of questions on social participation and generalised trust to other people. Relationships between social capital and the exposure variable will be investigated with log-binomial regression. Social participation and generalised trust to will also be investigated separately.

Results Has not yet been produced but a primary analysis done with logistic regression (as an indicator, instead of log-binomial regression) seems to show an association between social participation and increasing commuting time both with car and public, compared to active commuting. Low generalised trust seemed not to be strongly associated with commuting.

(Results will be presented on EPICOH 2013)

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