UBC Library and Archives

Measuring Community Social Capital in British Columbia: An Eco-metric Approach for Population Health Research Carpiano, Richard


Webcast sponsored by Irving K. Barber Learning Centre and hosted by Green College. Richard Carpiano's interests centers on the sociology of health and illness, particularly community and individual socioeconomic influences on physical and mental health. Research- and policy-related concern with how community social and physical conditions serve as determinants of health has necessitated improved measurement of these contexts. Consistent with this need, there has been increased interest in “ecometrics”—the scientific approach to measuring ecologic settings—for creating reliable and valid measures of community context derived from survey-based ratings of community conditions by local residents. Existing research using ecometric techniques, however, has been conducted in a limited number of (mostly urban and non-Canadian) contexts. This talk will discuss an interdisciplinary study that applied ecometric approaches to creating several measures of community social cohesion and social capital. Using survey data collected from residents of 100 British Columbia communities, we evaluate separately for urban and rural communities: (a) the degree to which the reliability of specific ecologic measures is contingent upon the number of “raters” in a community who are providing information and (b) the validity of the resulting measures. The implications of these findings for guiding future studies of community context—for population health and other areas of focus—is also discussed.

Item Media

Item Citations and Data


Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International