Association between social capital and self-rated health in small and large secondary school classes in Croatia

  • Dario Novak
  • Lovro Štefan
  • Branislav Antala
  • Dean Dudley
  • Ichiro Kawachi
Keywords: Adolescents, Schools, Class size, Self-rated health, Social capital


The purpose of the present study was to determine the associations between social capital domains on self-rated health in small (≤22 students/class) and large (≥23 students/class) secondary school classes. Participants were 3427 secondary school students (50.7% females/49.3% males) aged 17-18 years. The main focus was self-rated health. The social capital domains that were explored comprised of family, neighbourhood and school social capital. The associations between these social capital domains and self-rated health were examined by using multiple logistic regression analysis. In small classes, self-rated health was positively associated with family and neighbourhood trust, informal social control, vertical and horizontal school trust and reciprocity at school In large classes, self-rated health was only associated with family trust, neighbourhood trust and reciprocity at school. Schools, clubs and teaching centres may apply the findings of this study to inform decisions based on the class size where health and social capital are important learning outcomes.

Keywords: Adolescents; Schools; Class size; Self-rated health; Social capital


Journal Identifiers

print ISSN: 0379-9069