Social Capital as a Mediator in the Link between Women’s Participation in Team Sports and Health-Related Outcomes
Abstract: The role of social capital in the association between team sports and health-related outcomes has not been well established in the literature. The purpose of this study was to explore
whether social capital components (social support, trust, and social involvement) mediate the association between team sports and health-related outcomes (self-reported health, psychosomatic
symptoms, and depressive symptoms). In a cross-sectional research design, we obtained data from
759 participants in the Mamanet Cachibol League, a community team sports model for women in
Israel, as well as a comparison group of 308 women who did not participate in any team sports.
Team captains were sent a link with an online questionnaire, which were then delivered to team
members via text message. Using three parallel mediation models, we found that social support
mediated the association between team sports and self-reported health, psychosomatic symptoms,
and depressive symptoms. Trust mediated the association between team sports and both psychosomatic symptoms and depressive symptoms. Social involvement was not found to be a mediator
in the association between team sports and any of the health-related outcomes. Our findings reveal
the important role of social capital, specifically social support and trust, in promoting the health of
women who participate in team sports.
Yuval Paldi ,Daniel S. Moran, Orna Baron-Epel, Shiran Bord, Elisheva Benartzi and Riki Tesler
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