Kerman University of Medical Sciences

Document Type: Original Article


1 Research Center for Social Determinants of Health, Institute for Futures Studies in Health, Kerman University of Medical Sciences, Kerman, Iran

2 HIV/STI Surveillance Research Center, and WHO Collaborating Center for HIV Surveillance, Institute for Futures Studies in Health. Kerman University of Medical Sciences. Kerman, Iran


Background: Social capital (SC) is one of the most important assets and a vital determinant of sustainable
development of any country. The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence and the relationship
between SC and substance use (SU) in Southeast Iranian adolescents.
Methods: This cross-sectional study was conducted among high school students in three cities located in south
east of Iran. We recruited 600 adolescents (329 girls and 271 boys) through multistage sampling during
September to November 2018. The data collection instrument was a self-administered standardized
questionnaire that included basic demographic characteristics, SC constructs items, and questions about SU
behavior in the participants.
Findings: The mean SC score among boys and girls studied was 3.46 and 3.33, respectively (from 5 score).
Among the SC constructs, respectively, the lowest and highest score belonged to social trust and [2.84 in girls
and 2.98 in boys with 95% confidence interval (CI) of 0.06-0.21, P < 0.001] and bonding to family (3.92 in
girls and 4.25 in boys with 95% CI of 0.22-0.44, P < 0.001). The ever use prevalence of at least one substance
abuse was 55.9% (n = 181) for boys and 36.6% (n = 68) for girls. Hookah (41.8%) and alcohol (16.9%) were the
most substances abused by participants. One-point increase in score of the constructs of social participation,
social cohesion, bonding with family, and bonding with schools was associated with a reduce of 17%, 22%, 26%,
and 46% in the probability of ever SU, respectively.
Conclusion: There was a strong relationship between SU and SC. Thus, rising SC as an effective communitybased and indirect approach can help policy makers and professionals in preventing SU in Iran. However, prior
to any intervention, identification of more causality may be required


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