In this Introduction, we highlight key themes in the conceptualization and measurement of social capital, drawing attention to its developmental roots, manifestations, and implications for health and well-being across the life course. Longitudinal methods are uniquely suited for charting pathways to and from social capital and for elucidating intermediate and proximal mechanisms that may explain its emergence and its role in healthy functioning. The four empirical articles in the Special Section make use of well-known longitudinal data sets to examine vertical and horizontal dimensions of social capital within and across critical developmental transitions. Collectively, the articles situate the construct of social capital within a behavioral perspective and shed new light on the nature and effectiveness of social relationships in the development of individual competence.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
Support for the analyses reported in this Special Section was provided by the Center for the Analysis of Pathways from Childhood to Adulthood, funded by the National Science Foundation (Grant 0322356), for which we are grateful.
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- friendship qualities
- parent-child relations
- psychosocial development
- romantic relationships