Conceptualization and Measurement of Health for Adults in the Health Insurance Study

Vol. IV, Social Health

by Cathy A. Donald, John E. Ware, Robert H. Brook, Allyson Ross Davies

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Abstract

Fourth in a series on Health Insurance Study (HIS) measures, this volume reviews published literature and documents the conceptualization and construction of social health measures. The literature review indicated that social health had been measured in terms of quantity and quality of interpersonal interactions and extent of community participation. Scaling issues were rarely addressed and there was little agreement on how to aggregate data to construct a social health index. Reported reliability estimates were moderate to high. Associations among different definitions of social health were weak, as were those between social health and other health and health-related constructs. The HIS social health battery focuses on objective social health constructs in the community, family, and social role areas. Plans for analyzing social health data (which were not available when this volume was written) and constructing HIS measures are discussed.

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