Emergent Social Capital during the Coronavirus Pandemic in the United States in Hispanics/Latinos





Citation of Original Publication

Contreras, Jennifer, Alexandra Fincannon, Tasneem Khambaty, and Ester Villalonga-Olives. 2023. "Emergent Social Capital during the Coronavirus Pandemic in the United States in Hispanics/Latinos" International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 20, no. 8: 5465. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph20085465


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The coronavirus pandemic has drastically impacted many groups that have been socially and economically marginalized such as Hispanics/Latinos in the United States (U.S.). Our aim was to understand how bonding social capital, bridging social capital, and trust played a role in Hispanics/Latinos over the course of the COVID-19 outbreak, as well as explore the negative consequences of social capital. We performed focus group discussions via Zoom (n = 25) between January and December 2021 with Hispanics/Latinos from Baltimore, MD, Washington, DC, and New York City, NY. Our findings suggest that Hispanics/Latinos experienced bridging and bonding social capital. Of particular interest was how social capital permeated the Hispanic/Latino community’s socioeconomic challenges during the pandemic. The focus groups revealed the importance of trust and its role in vaccine hesitancy. Additionally, the focus groups discussed the dark side of social capital including caregiving burden and spread of misinformation. We also identified the emergent theme of racism. Future public health interventions should invest in social capital, especially for groups that have been historically marginalized or made vulnerable, and consider the promotion of bonding and bridging social capital and trust. When prospective disasters occur, public health interventions should support vulnerable populations that are overwhelmed with caregiving burden and are susceptible to misinformation.