Latent class models in action: Bridging social capital & internet usage

Barbara Barbosa Neves, Jaime R.S. Fonseca

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This paper explores how Latent Class Models (LCM) can be applied in social research, when the basic assumptions of regression models cannot be validated. We examine the usefulness of this method with data collected from a study on the relationship between bridging social capital and the Internet. Social capital is defined here as the resources that are potentially available in one's social ties. Bridging is a dimension of social capital, usually related to weak ties (acquaintances), and a source of instrumental resources such as information. The study surveyed a stratified random sample of 417 inhabitants of Lisbon, Portugal. We used LCM to create the variable bridging social capital, but also to estimate the relationship between bridging social capital and Internet usage when we encountered convergence problems with the logistic regression analysis. We conclude by showing a positive relationship between bridging and Internet usage, and by discussing the potential of LCM for social science research.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)15-30
Number of pages16
JournalSocial Science Research
Volume50
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2015
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Bridging social capital
  • Email
  • Internet
  • Latent class models
  • Logistic regression models
  • Social networking sites

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