Previous research has established significant positive associations between social capital and life satisfaction among elderly. This study aimed to obtain a deeper understanding of the relationship between different sources of social capital and well-being while controlling for an overall individual self-reported assessment of health status. A sample of 5.613 Italian residents was extracted from a national cross-sectional survey during 2013 in Italy, representative of the non-institutionalized population aged 60 years and over. Measures included self-reported assessment of health, community social capital and individual social capital. Hierarchical multiple regression analysis showed that (1) self-reported health contributes to a greater extent than social capital in explaining life satisfaction, and (2) both conceptualizations of social capital are independently associated with life satisfaction. In particular, individual social capital is a greater positive predictor of life satisfaction than community social capital in the current Italian sample. Implications for future research and interventions are discussed.
Keywords: Social capital, older people, life satisfaction, self-perceived health