Mental health and social capital in urban Thailand
Using a sample of married women from Bangkok, Thailand, this thesis examines the mitigating effects of different forms of social capital on depressive symptoms. It expands the current social science research on depressive symptoms by exploring an understudied predominantly Buddhist population through a social capital lens. It investigates the influence of multidimensional social capital such as social networks, faith-based engagement and civic engagement on depressive symptoms using multiple linear regression technique. Consistent with research expectations, statistical analyses show that net of statistical controls both faith-based social capital (e.g., religious participation) and social networks (e.g., friendship ties) significantly reduce depressive symptoms. Though civic engagement also mitigates depressive symptoms, its effect is less robust than that of faith-based social capital and social networks. Overall, these results shed new light on social science research on depression and illustrate the critical role social capital plays in mitigating depression in a cross-cultural context.