The social capital of Spanish youth: Traits and effects on the material and emotional well-being

The study describes the characteristics of the social capital of Spanish youth, analyses its effects on their material and emotional well-being, and identifies the social inequalities involved.

The project has two objectives: (1) to quantitatively describe the characteristics of the social capital of Spanish youth, identifying the differences in its composition and volume through the use of ego-centred network analysis; and (2) to identify the effects of these social capital characteristics on the material and emotional well-being of youth.

The project will focus on the individual dimension of social capital. This dimension is defined as the network of personal connections that is sustained by social interaction and provides instrumental and expressive support. Paradoxically, there has been empirical evidence of the deterioration of the emotional well-being of young people in Spain in recent years, even before the Covid-19 pandemic. However, no evidence has been provided of one of the main determinants identified by the literature: the reduction of social interaction and the rise of ‘objective’ social isolation (i.e., loss of personal connections, which is different from the ‘subjective’ perception of isolation). Personal connections also constitute an essential source of material and instrumental support for youth. This happens both directly, through the financial support that many young people receive from their families; and indirectly, through the use of their personal network for job searching. Yet, no survey-based research in Spain has examined social capital inequalities among young people and the outcomes of these inequalities. Hence the relevant need for this topic to be addressed.

Start date: 11/10/2022
Finish date: 11/06/2023
Financing: Fundación Bancaria “la Caixa”
Grant agreement reference:
Responsable researcher: Joan Miquel Verd
Team: Mireia Bolíbar Planas,  Joan Rodríguez Soler, Albert Navarro Giné

Reports and Publications

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