Background: Social capital, defined as an investment in relationships that facilitates the exchange of resources, has been identified as a possible protective factor for child health in the context of risk factors such as poverty. Reliable and valid measures of social capital are needed for research and practice, particularly in non-English-speaking populations in developing countries. Objectives: To evaluate the psychometric properties and cross-cultural equivalence of the Arabic translation of the Social Capital Scale (SCS). Design: Descriptive, cross-sectional study for psychometric testing of a translated tool. Setting: Two metropolitan health clinics in Alexandria, Egypt. Participants: A convenience sample of 117 Egyptian parents of children with chronic conditions. To be eligible to participate, respondents had to be a parent of child with a chronic health condition between the ages of 1 and 18 years. The sample included primarily biological parents between the ages of 20 and 56 years. Methods: The 20-item Arabic SCS was administered as part of a written survey that included additional measures on demographic information and parent ratings of the child's overall health. Six items were ultimately removed based on item analysis, and exploratory factor analysis was conducted on the resulting 14-item scale. As a measure of construct validity, hypothesis testing was conducted using an independent samples t-test to determine whether a significant difference exists between mean total social capital scores for two groups of respondents based on the parental rating of the child's overall health. Results: Item and factor analysis yielded preliminary support for a revised, 14-item Arabic SCS with four internally consistent factors. The standardized item alpha reliability coefficient for the total 14-item scale was .75. Respondents who reported that their child was in good health had significantly higher social capital scores than those who rated their child's health as poor. Conclusions: The 14-item Arabic SCS was found to be reliable and valid in this sample, with four internally consistent factors. While the tool may not be appropriate for comparing social capital between cultural groups, it will enable clinicians and researchers to address an important gap in knowledge characterized by a paucity of research on childhood chronic illness in low- and middle-income countries such as Egypt.
- Children with chronic conditions
- Family nursing
- Social capital