Are Family, Neighbourhood and School Social Capital Associated with Psychological Distress Among Lithuanian High-School Students? A Cross-Sectional Study

Dario Novak, Stevo Popovic, Arunas Emeljanovas, Brigita Mieziene, Tomislav Kristicevic

Year: 2016 Volume: 23 Issue: d

Pages: 75-89

Abstract: The purpose of the present study was to examine associations between family, neighborhood and school social capital with psychological distress among Lithuanian adolescents 14-18 years of age. Participants were 1863 high-school students (51.4% females), aged 14-18 years in the 2015/2016 school year. Psychological distress was dependent, while social capital domains independent variables. Logistic regression was used to examine the associations of family, neighborhood and school social capital on the risk of high psychological distress. Psychological distress was measured by the Kessler-6 scale. Adjusting for gender, body mass index, self-perceived socioeconomic status, self-rated health and physical activity, high family social capital (OR 0.37; 95% CI 0.27 to 0.50), high neighborhood trust (OR 0.49; 95% CI 0.39 to 0.63), high vertical school trust (OR 0.67; 95% CI 0.52 to 0.88), high horizontal school trust (OR 0.76; 95% CI 0.58 to 1.00) and reciprocity at school (OR 0.56; 95% CI 0.43 to 0.74) was each associated with lower odds of psychological distress. When all independent variables were entered simultaneously, high family social capital, high neighborhood trust, high vertical school trust and reciprocity at school remained associated with lower odds of psychological distress. Since family, neighborhood and school social capital were inversely associated with psychological distress, strategies and policies that improve mutual support between the community and children must be implemented within the system.