Presentation of Structural Equation Modeling for the Effects of Social Capital Components Ability of Small Towns in Alborz Province

Document Type : Research Paper


Associate Professor of Geography and Urban Planning, Tehran, Iran


Continuity and growth of urbanization reduced the viability of cities. The rapid expansion of urbanization over the last decades changed the habitat and viability of urban centers. Development in the form of comprehensive and detailed plans and lack of attention to the obvious role of social capital has caused the spatial and physical structure of small urban centers in recent years in Alborz province.  In these areas, structural breakdowns have occurred as a result of functional change in the quality of life in these cities. Hence, the rule of thumb-centered planning focussed on neglecting social dimensions. The need for the status of the social system of the city is revealed as a missing link. In recent years, along with urban development paradigms, the idea of ​​the viability of small urban centers has made a significant contribution to the literature of urban studies. Epidemiology in its general sense of meaning can achieve life ability. Thus, the concept of habitat is an important element in urban planning literature. The concept is one of the components of development expresses citizens' satisfaction with living conditions.
In this research, the effective components are social capital of constant variables including collective norms, social trust, participation and interactivity, social convergence. Dependent variability is indicators of environmental pollution, general green space quality, natural beauty landscape, and urbanization of urban neighborhoods. The research method is based on the nature and objectives of the components of social capital. The urbanization of small towns is a descriptive-analytical research method with practical purpose. The data of this research have been gathered by library studies and fieldworks. In the field survey, questionnaires and interviewing techniques have been used to measure the variables. Parametric and nonparametric statistics for statistical analysis of data have been conducted by SPSS, Excel and more Structural equation software. The samples were based on the statistics of 2006 census for the small towns of Alborz province. The stusy area contains 50 thousand people, living mainly the cities of Eshtehard, Chaharbagh, Taleghan, Kuhsar, Golsar, Gondareh, and Hashtgerd. The sample size is 268 people using the Cochran formula.
Results and discussion           
In order to test the relationship between social capital and viability of the small city centers in the Alborz province, we have used the coefficients of Pearson correlation. The results have indicated that the calculated correlation coefficient is equal to 0.421 which has a meaningful level at 99% confidence interval. The results have confirmed a meaningful and direct relationship between the variables of social convergence in Hashtgerd (3.3), Eshtehard (1.3), Chaharbagh (2.3) and Gondareh (2.2). In the rest of the cities, this has had a negative influence. The standard values of this indicator are positive in the cities of Eshtehard, Hashtgerd New Town. It can have a social synergistic effect on urban viability. One of the assumptions used in regression analysis is the Camera-Veston test, whose range of variation is 0-4 and the acceptable value is close to 2 for the cities. Camera test - Wuston is equal to 2.08 and indicates that the errors or residues are independent of each other.     In this model, social capital is positively affected by marginalization and the standard coefficient between two variables of social capital and viability (0.88). Thus, social capital has both direct and indirect effects of transversality, and the significant level of T, equal to 83.12, has been able to explain the viability of the studied cities. Increasing social capital has mainly influenced the attractiveness of small city centers. Due to the factors of social capital dimensions, participation indicators and interactivity, social trust has mainly been affected by social dependence.
Results and discussion
The results of the analytical method of direct and indirect research variables showed that the variables of participation and interactivity with 51% of the total effect had the most positive influence on the viability of small urban centers. The social trust variable with 0.27% of the total effect has the second rank. This part of the research is consistent with the findings of Lariss (2005).  It should be noted that in the meaningful review of indirect effect, the variables were determined by the Bott-Strap method. The method shows that social convergence and collective norms play a complementary role. The results of the structural equation model have also confirmed the relation between social capital and viability. The standardized coefficient between these two variables is equal to 0.88 and the significant level of T is 12.83 (18.1 R2). This relationship is direct and meaningful. The results of the structural equation model also showed that increased social capital (in some of the indicators) had a greater impact on the survival of small towns. According to the factor loading, the output of the structural equation model shows the rank of the index of participation, interactivity, and social trust. The coefficients with F = 38.23 and P = 0.000 also indicate that among the components of social capital, only the participation and interactivity of the predictive relation with the habitability are among the components of social capital. The standardized beta coefficient with 0.348 tolerance level also indicated the net effects of the participation variable and interaction on viability is a strong predictor of other variables.


Main Subjects

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