In African countries including South Africa, the nexus between social cohesion and health remains under-researched. Using data from the 2012 South African social attitudes survey with a weighted sample of 27,239,194 adults in South Africans aged 18 years or older, we used the collective efficacy theory by Sampson and Colleagues to examine the relationship between social cohesion and self-rated health in an African sample. We also

examined how these relationships differed by race. Results from the multivariate analysis after adjusting for covariates suggested that adults in the lowest tertile of social cohesion were less likely to report moderate or good health compared to those in the highest tertile. Sub-group analysis by race showed that the observed relationship was only statistically significant among black African adults in South Africa. These findings corroborate those observed in developed countries that social cohesion is necessary for improving the health of adults in South Africa, particularly among black Africans.

CONTRIBUTORS: Prof Clifford Odimegwu (WITS University, South Africa), Dr. Nicole DeWet (WITS University, South Africa)