Background: Adolescents who rely on
social aid networks tend to be more socially competent and enjoy higher levels
of quality of life than those who interact only with their own limited groups
of family and friends. In this light, the present study aimed to measure social
capital and analyse its possible relation to adolescents’ quality of life.Methods:
This is a cross-sectional analytical study with 363 adolescents from the
Brazilian NGO. The instruments used included a short Portuguese version of the Integrated
Questionnaire to Measure Social Capital (SC-QI) from the World Bank and its
abbreviated Portuguese version from the World Health Organization Quality
of Life Bref (WHOQoL-Bref) used to measure the quality of life. To measure
social capital, the present study chose to use a segmentation analysis, along
with the Two-Step Cluster method, applying Euclidian distance and the criteria
of centroid aggregation. The Mann-Whitney test was used to compare the scores
of WHOQoL-Bref domains among the clusters, at a significance level of 5%.Results:
The segmentation analysis resulted in two clusters, with 160 (44.1%)
adolescents classified as Low Social Capital (LSC) and 178 (49%) classified as
High Social Capital (HSC). Participation in activities for the good of the
community (p < 0.001), opinion regarding the differences between people in
the community (p = 0.002), and number of community meetings (p < 0.001)
constituted the decisive variables for determining the separation of the
clusters. When quality of life among the
newly formed clusters was compared, the highest average score in the HSC
cluster was found in the Psychological Domain (75.4 ± 11.9), whereas in the LSC
cluster, the highest average score was found in the Physical Domain (74.6 ± 12.6).
Lower quality of life scores was found in the environmental domain for both the
LSC clusters (51.3 ± 14.0) and the HSC clusters (54.7 ± 15.5). This
difference proved to be statistically significant (p = 0.009).Conclusions:
The results showed that adolescents with higher social capital also presented
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