Abstract: The Israeli cachibol league, Mamanet, is a grass roots non-professional community sports club for mothers. Our aim was to assess if participants in the Mamanet League have higher levels of social capital and if social capital and wellbeing improve with time. Two groups were interviewed: a control group not participating in the league and a group of Mamanet participants. The women were interviewed within 3 months of joining (T1) and 13–15 months later (T2). The questionnaire included questions on sociodemographic characteristics, social capital (social support, social involvement, trust) and wellbeing (self-reported health (SRH), psychosomatic symptoms, depressive symptoms). At T1 the participants had higher social capital and SRH scores than the control group and lower psychosomatic and depressive symptoms compared with the control group. Participation in the Mamanet League seems to improve two of the three social capital measures: social support and social involvement, showing an increase among the Mamanet group over time and no change in the control group. Participation in the league had no significant effect on wellbeing during this period. Women that participate in sports clubs may initially have higher social capital; in addition, participation may increase levels of social capital over time.

Orna Baron-Epel
Deborah Kadish
University of Haifa, Israel

Yuval Paldi
Daniel S Moran
Riki Tesler
Ariel University, Ariel, Israel

Shiran Bord
The Max Stern Yezreel Valley College, Israel

Edna Guttman

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