Individual social capital has been recognized as having an important role for health and well-being. We tested the hypothesis that poor social capital increases internalized stigma and, in turn, can reduce empowerment among people with major depressive disorder (MDD). This is a cross-sectional multisite study conducted on a sample of 516 people with MDD in 19 European countries. Structural Equation Models were developed to examine the direct and indirect effects of self-stigma and social capital on empowerment. Social capital and self-stigma accounted for 56% of the variability in empowerment. Higher social capital was related to lower self-stigma (r=-0.72, P<0.001) which, in turn, partially mediated the relationship between social capital and empowerment (r=0.38, P<0.001). Social capital plays a key role in the appraisal of empowerment, both directly and through the indirect effect mediated by self-stigma. In order to improve empowerment of people with MDD, we identify strategies to foster individual social capital, and to overcome the negative consequences related to self-stigma for attainment of life goals.
|Number of pages||7|
|Journal||European Psychiatry : the Journal of the Association of European Psychiatrists|
|Early online date||29 Aug 2014|
|Publication status||Published - 1 Jan 2015|
- social capital