Date of Award

8-2012

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Legacy Department

Applied Sociology

Advisor

Vander Mey, Brenda J

Committee Member

Haller , William

Committee Member

Luo , Ye

Abstract

The current study examined the association between social capital and subjective well-being (SWB) in rural Ethiopia. The current study used the 2009 Ethiopian Rural Household Study (ERHS) with a sample of 1277 households. It was hypothesized that social capital is positively associated with SWB, that cognitive social capital would have a stronger association with SWB than would structural social capital, and that the relationship between social capital and SWB will differ by region. The study included an examination of the interaction between regions in Ethiopia, social capital, and SWB. It was found that membership in an equub, generalized trust, and perceptions of the trustworthiness of government were significantly associated with SWB. Significant interaction terms were Oromia and participation in a work party and Tigray and trustworthiness in neighbors. These findings are consistent with the research linking social capital to SWB (Bjornskov 2006; Helliwell 2006; Sarracino 2010). The findings of this study also support previous research indicating a stronger association between cognitive social capital and SWB over structural social capital and SWB (Bjornskov 2006; Yip, Subramanian, Lee, Wang and Kawachi 2006). There were some significant interactions between social capital, region, and SWB. This study can be used to inform policymakers interested in social capital and SWB approaches. More research is needed on memberships in associations and their relationship with SWB in rural Ethiopia.

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