Social capital, deprivation and psychological well-being among young adolescents: a multilevel study from England and Wales

Publication type

Journal Article

Published in

International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health


Kenisha Russell Jonsson, Joan Busfield, Marita Södergren, Miia Karen and Nicholas Kofi Adjei

Publication date


Examining the mechanisms influencing mental health and life satisfaction simultaneously allows for a better understanding of adolescents psychological well-being. Six indicators of neighbourhood social capital (NSC), neighbourhood socioeconomic deprivation (SecD) and their association with psychological well-being among young adolescents aged 10-15 from England and Wales were investigated. Using a random sample of 5201 adolescents (7253 observations) from the UK Household Longitudinal Study merged to aggregated local area census measures, we fitted a series of multilevel models. The findings showed that not being worried about crime and friendship networks mitigated the negative effects of deprivation on adolescent’s psychological well-being. These findings suggest that some forms of NSC may have a buffering and protective function, with the strongest effects in deprived neighbourhoods. We further found that psychological well-being of adolescents is dependent on both individual vulnerabilities and neighbourhood context. However caution is required if, and when public health policies are formulated to address this issue, given significant variations (27-36%) in the inter- and intra-individual psychological well-being were found among this group over time. Thus, policies designed to improve psychological well-being among adolescents should take into account the role of social processes in transmitting deprivation’s effects, as well as the various forms of social capital.







Social Groups, Area Effects, Social Networks, Geography, Young People, Poverty, Well Being, Social Capital and Health


Open Access; This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited