Social Capital and its Relationship with Drug Use among Southeast Iranian Adolescents

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


Kawachi I, Berkman L. Social cohesion, social
capital, and health. In: Berkman LF, Kawachi I,
editors. Social epidemiology. New York, NY: Oxford
University Press; 2000. p. 174-90.
2. Aslund C, Nilsson KW. Social capital in relation to
alcohol consumption, smoking, and illicit drug use
among adolescents: A cross-sectional study in
Sweden. Int J Equity Health 2013; 12(1): 33.
3. Boyce WF, Davies D, Gallupe O, Shelley D.
Adolescent risk taking, neighborhood social capital,
and health. J Adolesc Health 2008; 43(3): 246-52.
4. McKenzie K, Harpham T. Social capital and mental
health. London, UK: Jessica Kingsley Publishers;
5. Lederman D, Loayza N, Menendez AM. Violent
crime: Does social capital matter? Econ Dev Cult
Change 2002; 50(3): 509-39.
6. Aliverdinia A, Sharepour M, Varmazyar M. Family's
social capital and delinquency. Woman in
Development and Politics (Women's Research) 2008;
6(2): 107-32. [In Persian]
7. Eriksson M. Social capital and health--implications for
Proof Version
SC and Drug Use among Iranian Adolescents Pourramazani et al.
64 Addict Health, Winter 2019; Vol 11, No 1, 05 January
health promotion. Glob Health Action 2011; 4: 5611.
8. Antoci A, Sacco P, Vanin P. Social Capital
accumulation and the evolution of social
participation. The Journal of Socio-Economics 2007;
36(1): 128-43
9. Winstanley EL, Steinwachs DM, Ensminger ME,
Latkin CA, Stitzer ML, Olsen Y. The association of
self-reported neighborhood disorganization and social
capital with adolescent alcohol and drug use,
dependence, and access to treatment. Drug Alcohol
Depend 2008; 92(1-3): 173-82.
10. Li S, Horner P, Delva J. Social capital and cigarette
smoking among Latinos in the United States. Subst
Abuse Rehabil 2012; 2012(3 (Supplement 1)): 83-92.
11. Kawachi I, Subramanian SV, Kim D. Social capital
and health. In: Kawachi I, Subramanian SV, Kim D,
editors. Social capital and health. New York, NY:
Springer New York; 2008. p. 1-26.
12. Cheung WT. Social capital and normalisation of
adolescent drug use in Hong Kong. Proceedings of the
International Conference on Tackling Drug Abuse;
2005 Feb 23-25; Hong Kong, China.
13. Fukuyama F. Social capital and civil society (IMF
Working Paper No. 00/74). Washington, DC:
International Monetary Fund: 2000. p. 1-19.
14. Iran Drug Control Headquarters (Home IDCH).
15. Cuesta J, Alda E, Lamas J. Social capital, violence
and public intervention: The case of cali. Washington,
DC: Inter-American Development Bank; 2007.
16. Fathi L. Social capital as a predictor of delinquency in
adolescent boys. International Letters of Social and
Humanistic Sciences 2014; 43: 86-97.
17. Zhong L. Communities, crime and social capital in
contemporary China. Cullompton Devon, UK:
Willan; 2013.
18. Kordi H, Ghazanfari S. Sociological explanation of
the relationship between family's social capital and
children's educational achievement. Journal of
Applied Sociology 2015; 26(3): 161-72. [In Persian]
19. Shiani M, Mousavi MT, Zare H. The measurement of
social capital in Tehran. Iran Econ Rev 2017; 21(2):
20. Perez F, Serrano L, Fernandez de Guevara J.
Estimation of social capital in the world: Time series by
country. Madrid, Spain: Foundation BBVA; 2008.
21. Mohammadi MR, Khaleghi A, Badrfam R, Alavi SS,
Zandifar A, Ahmadi A, et al. Social capital in general
population of Tehran province in comparison with
other provinces of Iran. J Iran Med Counc 2019; 1(3):
22. Heidarabadi A, Salehabadi E. Social capital and
development in the provinces of Iran. Journal of
Iranian Social Development Studies 2017; 9(2): 53-
67. [In Persian]
23. Iranpour A, Jamshidi E, Nakhaee N, Haghdoost AA,
Shojaeizadeh D, Eftekhar-Ardabili M, et al.
Development and psychometric properties of risk and
protective factors of substance use scale in Iran: An
application of social development model. Addict
Health 2015; 7(3-4): 117-29.
24. Wiatrowski MD, Griswold DB, Roberts MK. Social
Control Theory and Delinquency. Am Sociol Rev
1981; 46(5): 525-41.
25. Kempf KL. The empirical status of Hirschi's control
theory. In: Adler F, Laufer WS, editors. New
directions in criminological theory: Advances in
criminological theory. New Brunswick, NJ:
Transaction Publishers; 1996. vol 4. p. 143-85.
26. Hawkins JD, Weis JG. The social development
model: An integrated approach to delinquency
prevention. J Prim Prev 1985; 6(2): 73-97.
27. Hessami Z, Masjedi MR, Ghahremani R, Kazempour
M, Emami H. Evaluation of the prevalence of
waterpipe tobacco smoking and its related factors in
Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran. East Mediterr
Health J 2017; 23(2): 94-9.
28. Abdullah SM. Social cognitive theory: A Bandura
thought review published in 1982-2012.
PSIKODIMENSIA 2019; 18(1): 85-100.
29. Azadarmaki T, Kamali A. Trust, community, and
gender. Iranian Journal of Sociology 2002; 4(2): 100-
32. [In Persian].
30. Ansari H, Ansari-Moghaddam A, Mohammadi M.
Prevalence of substance abuse and associated factors
in hookah users. J Mazandaran Univ Med Sci 2016;
26(136): 73-84. [In Persian].
31. Hayati F, Gorjian Z, Mahmoodi N, Zarea K, Sayah
Bargard M, Monadi Ziarat H, et al. Prevalence of
substance abuse and its correlation with educational
achievement among nursing students in Abadan.
Educational Development of Jundishapur 2018; 8(4):
391-8. [In Persian].