Reciprocity as Social Capital and Self-Rated Health in Japanese Community-Dwelling Adults

Yasuyuki Fukukawa, Wataru Onoguchi, Ryo Oda


This study examined the relationship between reciprocity among community dwelling adults and self-rated health by analyzing data from a survey conducted every 5 years between 1991 and 2011 in Japan. The results revealed a downward trend in reciprocity at the group level over the 20-year survey period, but little change in reciprocity at the individual level. A comparison of different surveyed cohorts showed that the younger the generation, the lower the group-level reciprocity. A multi-level analysis controlling for age, gender, educational status and marital status showed that both at the individual and group levels, higher reciprocity was associated with higher self-rated health. However, there was an interaction effect involving reciprocity at two levels: a stronger correlation between individual reciprocity and self-rated health was observed for individuals from a recent cohort with a low level of group reciprocity. This paper concludes by discussing the factors to consider when examining the influence of reciprocity on self-rated health.


Social Capital; Self-Rated Health; Multi-Level Analysis

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