Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Mennonite College of Nursing

First Advisor

Kim Schafer Astroth


This dissertation is comprised of three manuscripts exploring the concept of social capital and hospital readmission of older adults. The first manuscript provides a review of the literature evaluating studies that measure the relationship between social capital and health, healthy behaviors, and access to and utilization of healthcare resources. Further research focusing on testing various types of individual social capital and their relationship to key outcomes including hospital readmission is needed.

The second manuscript is a description of the Social Capital and Health Framework that can serve as an outline for assisting nurses and other healthcare providers to consider older adults in the context of relationships and the social environments to which they belong. Lindenberg’s Social Production Function Theory, which states that well-being has both physical and social dimensions, both of which have an impact during illness and health, guided the development of this framework.

The third manuscript is an outline of the method and results of a descriptive pilot study to examine if levels of individual social capital differ in two groups of patients age 65 and older, those readmitted to the hospital within 30 days of discharge and those not readmitted. One-hundred-twenty-eight older adults participated in the study, with 50 readmitted within 30 days of hospital discharge and 78 not readmitted with 30 days. Social capital levels were measured using the Personal Social Capital Scale. The Social Capital and Health Framework guided the study. Results of the study indicate there is no significant difference in the levels of social capital between the two groups.


Imported from ProQuest Emmerling_ilstu_0092E_11085.pdf


Page Count


Included in

Nursing Commons