Research indicates that social capital can influence the extent to which socio-economic status (SES) and information and communications technology (ICT) affect mental health. This study uses empirical data to examine the veracity of this claim by examining the effect of SES and ICT use on the mental health of older persons in Ghana, as well as the moderating role of bonding (i.e. strong ties) and bridging (i.e. weak ties) social capital in these associations. Data were drawn from 409 older persons from four regions in Ghana as part of a broader cross-sectional survey. Ordinal logistic regression analyses showed that SES and ICT use had positive associations with mental health after adjusting for other socio-demographic factors. Bridging social capital modified the association between SES and mental health positively. Bonding social capital also moderated the relations between ICT use on mental health positively. We argue that the prevalent nature of resources embedded in strong ties and the diversity of support that emerge from weak ties account for the difference in their influence observed in this study. Thus, while advances in socio-economic and technological conditions can enhance older persons’ mental health, equal attention must be paid to the characteristics of their strong and weak ties as they possess the resources to make socio-technological policies even more meaningful.
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- social capital
- mental health
- socio-economic status
- Information and communication technology (ICT)
- Socio-economic status
- Mental health
- Information and communications technology
- Social capital