Investigation into the metric properties of the workplace social capital questionnaire and its association with self-rated health and psychological distress amongst Greek-Cypriot registered nurses: Cross-sectional descriptive study

Nicos Middleton, Panayiota Andreou, Maria Karanikola, Christiana Kouta, Ourania Kolokotroni, Evridiki Papastavrou

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

© 2018 The Author(s). Background: Social capital can been described as an individual or a collective attribute, with structural and cognitive components, and a bonding, bridging and linking typology. While extensively studied in the community, studies in occupational settings are sparse by comparison. Furthermore, there is no uniformity in its measurement. This study investigated the construct validity of a Workplace Social Capital questionnaire (WSC), originally developed in the Finnish Public Sector occupational cohort, in a different socio-cultural setting (Cyprus), language (Greek) and occupational group (Registered Nurses). It also explored its criterion concurrent validity according to observed association with self-rated health and psychological distress. Methods: Participants were 10% of all registered nurses (N = 362) who responded to the 8-item WSC scale during a nationwide educational programme. A unidimensional model was compared with the postulated two-factor (structural vs cognitive) and three-factor model (bonding, bridging, linking) in Confirmatory Factor Analyses. The association with self-rated health (0-100 Visual Analogue Scale) and mental distress (GHQ-12 ≥ 4) was assessed in linear and logistic regression models. Results: A bonding (Cronbach's a = 0.76), bridging (a = 0.78) and linking (a = 0.89) structure explained 77.6% of the variance and was a better fit as indicated by goodness of fit indices. Elevated odds of mental distress and poorer self-rated health were observed among participants with the lowest levels of perceived workplace social capital. In adjusted models, associations appeared stronger with bonding social capital (adjOR of mental distress = 2.71 95% CI = 1.08, 6.79) while those with the highest scores rated their health higher by 8.0 points on average (95% CI = 2.1, 13.8). Low linking social capital was also associated with poorer health but no consistent associations were observed with bridging. Conclusion: While associations appeared stronger with bonding and linking, this may reflect a weakness of the measure to fully capture bridging social capital. Even though, this aspect might need strengthening, the WSC showed good metric properties in a different setting, language and occupational group. Cross-national and cognitive validation studies are needed.
Original languageEnglish
JournalBMC Public Health
Volume18
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 23 Aug 2018

Keywords

  • Construct validity
  • Measurement
  • Psychological distress
  • Self-rated health
  • Social capital
  • Workplace

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