Social capital includes the social ties and reciprocity that surround a person. As such, social capital is an important aspect of quality of life. As the Personal Outcome Measures® recognizes health and safety depend on strong social ties. When we are connected with others our personal quality of life is enhanced. In 2005, CQL | The Council on Quality and Leadership developed the Social Capital Index to help organizations redefine their role and purpose by focusing services and supports on areas that increase people’s social capital.
The 8 Personal Outcome Measures® indicators involved in the social capital index are:
- People have intimate relationships.
- People live in integrated environments.
- People participate in the life of the community.
- People interact with other members of the community.
- People perform different social roles.
- People have friends.
- People are respected.
- People are connected to natural support networks.
These eight indicators focus on relationships and connections with others, such as intimacy and community connections. Moreover, “being respected is a sign that you are being treated by “others with dignity and your worth is valued” (CQL, 2005, p. 10).
The Social Capital Index organizes these 8 indicators into two categories: bonding, and bridging. Bonding includes relationships with those in our social circle and those similar to use; “they are related to our current world and the people and places we already know. They represent the initiation of bonds that make social capital more likely. They are the glue that holds us together” (CQL, 2005, pp. 11-12). Meanwhile, bridging includes those outside our social circle, who are less like us; “they represent the connections we have to the world around us beyond the confines of who we already know, where we already go and what we already do. They represent potential for increased social ties and connections” (CQL, 2005, p. 11). The figure below details the Social Capital Index data from 1993 to 2016.
Social Capital Index 1993 to 2016 (n = 10,250)
|People have intimate relationships||66.8%||People live in integrated environments||45.5%|
|People participate in the life of the community||63.3%||People interact with other members of the community||71.3%|
|People have friends||52.4%||People perform different social roles||41.9%|
|People are respected||72.8%|
|People are connected to natural support networks||60.9%|
|Bonding Social Capital||63.2%||Bridging Social Capital||52.9%|
Social Capital Index Analysis In PORTAL
While historically the Social Capital Index has always needed to be calculated by hand, with the development of CQL’s PORTAL Data System, we have included an analytics template that will not only automatically calculate the social capital index for agencies, but also agencies have the option to compare their data to a national metric to see which areas they are excelling and which they could use improvement. Here is an example of the PORTAL export:
Analytics By Social Capital Index: Tutorial Video
Analytics By Social Capital Index: Step-By-Step Directions
- Log in to your PORTAL account
- Click on the ‘Analytics’ tab at the top of your screen
- Select the ‘SURVEYS’ analytical tool
- Select the ‘VIEWS Dashboard’ option
- Select the ‘POM Social Capital Index’ analytics template.