Relationship of general trust with individual health and life related factors among frail elderly residents at home in Hokkaido rural areas in Japan


General Trust (GT), defined as a default expec-tation of other people’s trustworthiness, is assumed to be a predictor for promotion of health and welfare in individuals as well as for strengthening of social capital in the community. An improvement of health and quality of life of the elderly is recently a crucial agenda. Thus, the purpose of the study was to explore which factors regarding health and life associated with GT among frail elderly people living at homes in Japanese rural area. The study selected the subjects who were designated within three mildest degrees in seven stages of long-term care levels and who met at an item and more in the national basic check-list. 209 participants were interviewed by trained health personnel using a structured questionnaire. GT was measured by a dichotomous outcome of inquiring “do you trust people in general?”. In the univariable analysis, educational status (p = 0.004), activity competence index including instrumental activity of daily living (IADL) (p = 0.020), Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) (p = 0.029) and Self-rating Depression Scale (SDS) (p = 0.010) were significantly related to GT. By logistic regression analysis using a stepwise method with a like-lihood ratio, educational status alone was sig-nificantly associate with GT (p = 0.010, odds ratio = 1.195 [95% confidence interval; 1.043 - 1.371]). Health related factors had nothing to do with GT. Our finding suggested that the higher educated elderly might have had more opportunities to encounter the others and more indispensability to deliberately discern their trustworthiness than the lower, and consequently had higher GT through social intelligence being strengthened.

Share and Cite:

Yuasa, M. , Ikeno, T. and Ukawa, S. (2012) Relationship of general trust with individual health and life related factors among frail elderly residents at home in Hokkaido rural areas in Japan. Health, 4, 327-333. doi: 10.4236/health.2012.46054.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


[1] Lewis, J.D. and Weigert, A. (1985) Trust as a social reality. Social Forces, 63, 967-985.
[2] Williamson, O.E. (1993) Calculativeness. Trust and economic organization. Journal of Law and Economics, 30, 131-145.
[3] Zhang, J.X., Zhang, M.Q. and Liang, J. (2000) The role of general trust and specific trust in the path of interpersonal trust model. Acta Psychologica Sinica, 32, 311-316.
[4] Yanagisawa, K., Masui, K., Furutani, K., Nomura, M., Ura, M. and Yoshida, H. (2010) Does higher general trust serve as a psychosocial buffer against social pain? An NIRS study of social exclusion. Social Neuroscience, 6, 190-197.
[5] Zak, P.J. and Fakhar, A. (2006) Neuroactive hormones and interpersonal trust: international evidence. Economics and Human Biology, 4, 412-429. doi:10.1016/j.ehb.2006.06.004
[6] Yamagishi, T. and Yamagishi, M. (1994) Trust and commitment in the United States and Japan. Motivation and Emotion, 18, 129-166.
[7] Yamagishi, T. and Kikuchi, M. (1999) Trust, gullibility, and social intelligence. Asian Journal of Social Psychology, 2, 145-161. doi:10.1111/1467-839X.00030
[8] Mayer, R.C., Davis, J.H. and Schoorman, F.D. (1995) An integrative model of organizational trust. Academy of Management Review, 20, 709-734.
[9] McAllister, D.J. (1995) Affectand cognition-based trust as foundations for interpersonal co-operation in organizations. The Academy of Management Journal, 38, 24-59. doi:10.2307/256727
[10] Morrow, J.L. Jr., Hansen, M.H. and Pearson, A.W. (1994) The cognitive and affective antecedents of general trust within cooperative organizations. Journal of Managerial Issues, 16, 48-64.
[11] Kawachi, I., Kennedy, B.P. and Glass, R. (1999) Social capital and self-rated health: A contexual analysis. American Journal of Public Health, 89, 1187-1193. doi:10.2105/AJPH.89.8.1187
[12] Lindstr?m, M. (2008) Social capital, anticipated ethnic discrimination and self-reported psychological health: A population-based study. Social Science & Medicine, 66, 1-13. doi:10.1016/j.socscimed.2007.07.023
[13] Yipa, W., Subramaniana, S.V., Mitchella, A.D., Leeb, D.T.S., Wangc, J. and Kawachi, I. (2007) Does social capital enhance health and well-being? Evidence from rural China. Social Science & Medicine, 64, 35-49. doi:10.1016/j.socscimed.2006.08.027
[14] Rotenberg, K.J. (1990) A measure of the trust beliefs of elderly individuals. International Journal of Aging and Human Development, 30, 141-152. doi:10.2190/0P4L-EYW9-2JQ1-WBQK
[15] Geoge, L.K., Landarman, R. and Blazer, D.G. (1991) Cognitive impairment. Free Press, New York.
[16] Tombaugh, T.N. and McIntyre N.J. (1992) The minimental state examination: A comprehensive review. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, 40, 922-935.
[17] Hennessy, C.H., Moriarty, D.G., Zack, M.M., Scherr, P.A. and Brackbill, R. (1994) Measuring health-related quality of life for public health surveillance. Public Health Reports, 109, 665-672.
[18] Folstein, M.F., Folstein, S.E. and Mchugh, P.R. (1975) “Mini-mental state”. A practical method for grading the cognitive state of patients for the clinician. Journal of Psychiatric Research, 12, 189-198. doi:10.1016/0022-3956(75)90026-6
[19] Zung, W.W., Richards, C.B. and Short, M.J. (1965) Self-rating depression scale in an outpatient clinic. Further validation of the SDS. Archives of General Psychiatry, 13, 508-515. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1965.01730060026004
[20] Sherer, M. and Adams, C.H. (1983) Construct validation of the self-efficacy scale. Psychological Reports, 53, 899902. doi:10.2466/pr0.1983.53.3.899
[21] Ichida, Y., Kondo, K., Hirai, H., Hanibuchi, T., Yoshikawa, G. and Murata, C. (2009) Social capital, income inequality and self-rated health in Chita peninsula, Japan: A multilevel analysis of older people in 25 communities. Social Science & Medicine, 69, 489-499. doi:10.1016/j.socscimed.2009.05.006
[22] Yamagishi, T. (1998) The structure of trust. University of Tokyo Press, Tokyo.
[23] Hofstede, G. (1980) Culture’s consequences. Sega, Beverly Hills.
[24] Akerlof, G. (1970) The market for “lemons”: Qualitative uncertainty and the market mechanism. Quarterly Journal of Economics, 84, 488-500. doi:10.2307/1879431
[25] Fukuyama, F. (1995) Trust: The social virtues and the creation of prosperity. Free Press, Glencoe.
[26] Wang, H., Schlesinger, M. and Hsiao, W.C. (2009) The flip-side of social capital: the distinctive influences of trust and mistrust on health in rural China. Social Science & Medicine, 68, 133-142. doi:10.1016/j.socscimed.2008.09.038
[27] Subramanian, S.V., Kim, D.J. and Kawachi, I. (2002) Social trust and self-rated health in US communities: A multilevel analysis. Journal of Urban Health, 79, S21-34. doi:10.1093/jurban/79.suppl_1.S21
[28] Costa, P.T. and McCrae, R.R. (1992) Revised NEO personality inventory and NEO five-factor inventory: Professional manual. Psychological Assessment Resources

Copyright © 2020 by authors and Scientific Research Publishing Inc.

Creative Commons License

This work and the related PDF file are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.