Social capital and children's wellbeing: A critical synthesis of the international social capital literature

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

78 Scopus citations


Drawing on social capital literature from the international realm, this article presents a critical synthesis of this social resource in relation to children's and youth's wellbeing. Although considerable evidence indicates that social capital can have a positive impact on future outcomes for children and youth, no prior comprehensive review exists of the literature on social capital and children's wellbeing. Adopting the systematic review method (SR), the author explores how social capital has been conceptualised and operationalised as an explanatory variable in research on individual and collective wellbeing with children and youth. Oft-cited indicators of family social capital and community social capital are identified, together with common control variables, such as human and financial capital. The author concludes by examining several social capital trends in relation to children's wellbeing and offering recommendations for future research using a social capital theoretical framework to explore additional outcomes related to children's and youth's wellbeing.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2-18
Number of pages17
JournalInternational Journal of Social Welfare
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2006



  • Children
  • Financial capital
  • Human capital
  • Social capital
  • Systematic review method
  • Wellbeing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science

Cite this