Social capital among inschool adolescents in urban Nigeria: Gender differences

  • Emmanuel Adebayo


Gender has been described as affecting and influencing every aspect of individual lives. Gender roles, attitudes and norms influence the patterns of relationships among individuals. These patterns of relationships further influence the social capital individuals are able to accrue. Given that gender roles are further crystallized during adolescence, it is expedient that we understand how gender influences social capital development among adolescents. It is against this backdrop of information that this study seeks to understand the relationship between patterns of social capital development and gender among adolescents.A four stage sampling was used to select 1178 in-school adolescents. Information on socio-demographics and SC was obtained through interviewer administered questionnaires. Social capital was measured across family, peer, school, and neighbourhood domains using pre-validated scales with minimum and maximum scores of 0 and 3 for each item. Frequencies, Chi-square, and logistic regression were used in analyzing the data with significance at p<0.05.Females were more likely to report higher family social capital (OR-1.61; CI=1.02-2.55) and school social capital (OR-1.45; CI=1.07-1.96). Generally, females reported a higher social capital than males (OR-1.63; CI=1.06-2.50). Working, importance of religion, perception of family wealth and care were factors that significantly influenced social capital among adolescents.This study reports the influence of gender on adolescents’ social relationships and the benefits they may derive from these relationships. Despite their significantly larger social networks, males were significantly less likely to derive benefits from their social relationships as compared to their female counterparts. Social capital has not been well explored in the African context. The significantly lower social capital boys accrue from their relationships in comparison to girls may be an indicator to decreasing access and support. This study contributes to a long list of studies that reveal the attention required by boys.


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eISSN: 1596-9231