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Kansas Social Capital Report

By | October 18, 2010

“Social capital” describes connections made in communities, and the powerful nature of those connections to influence health, economic development and crime. Recognizing value of social capital, local communities and states have explored ways to assess and strengthen social capital.

The Kansas Health Foundation (KHF) commissioned the Kansas Health Institute (KHI) in 2006 “to establish a valid, methodologically rigorous, and visionary baseline measurement of social capital in Kansas." KHI partnered with the Saguaro Seminar at Harvard University, established by Robert Putnam, to conduct the Social Capital Community Survey, or SCCS. Saguaro conducted a statewide survey, stratified into rural and urban Kansas, as well as community-wide surveys in five Kansas communities (Abilene, Garden City, Junction City, Kansas City, and Wichita).

A discussion of the findings is reported in a 2009 article by Sharon M. Homan, Ph.D., entitled Connecting social capital and community health, which was published in the Journal of Kansas Civic Leadership Development, Volume 1, Issue 1, pages 21-22.

In addition, community profiles for Abilene, Garden City, Junction City, Kansas City and Wichita link the social capital survey findings to the 2009 Kansas County Health Rankings.

Other files available for download in .pdf format include an SPSS dataset for the Kansas SCCS, along with the codebook, the 2007 Kansas social capital report and the report’s executive summary.