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Cultural capital and self-rated health in low income women: a case study from greater Beirut, Lebanon

Marwan Khawaja, American University of Beirut
Mona Mowafi, American University of Beirut

Objectives: This paper examines the association between cultural capital and self-rated psychosocial health among urban poor, ever-married Lebanese women. Methods: Self-rated general and mental health were assessed using data from a cross-sectional survey of 1869 women conducted in 2003. Associations between self-rated general and mental health status and cultural capital were obtained using χ2 tests and odds ratios from logistic regression models. Results: Cultural capital had significant associations with self-perceived general and mental health status net of the effects of social capital, SES, demographics, community and health risk factors. As expected, health risk factors were significantly associated with both measures of health status. However, demographic and community variables were associated with general health, but not with mental health status. The findings pertaining to social capital and measures of SES were mixed. Conclusions: Cultural capital was a powerful predictor of self perceived health among women living in poor urban communities.

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Presented in Session 5: Urbanization, health and poverty