This paper discusses some of the health implications of data produced in the course of a research project that explored the usefulness of the concept of “social capital” in relation to the health and well‐being of children. The research used qualitative methods to explore 12–15 year olds' subjective experiences of their neighbourhoods, their quality of life, the nature of their social networks, and their participation in their communities. The research was carried out in two schools in relatively deprived wards in a town in South East England. The sample comprised 101 boys and girls in two age bands: 12–13 year olds and 14–15 year olds, with a significant proportion from minority ethnic groups. The paper adapts a “social determinants of health” model to explore the data, and concludes by suggesting that while “social capital” may be a useful tool with which to explore social context and social processes, a rights‐based framework could also be a valuable way of addressing health inequalities and quality‐of‐life issues for this age group.
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