Interpersonal relationships are social associations, connections, or affiliations between two or more people. They include friendships, family, romantic relationships, professional relationships, neighbours and members of associations, clubs or church groups. Interpersonal relationships are studied in a variety of social science disciplines such as psychology, sociology, anthropology and social work.
Interpersonal relationships are also necessary for the benefit they bring in terms of social capital. The World Bank defines social capital as “the norms and networks that enable collective action. It encompasses institutions, relationships, and customs that shape the quality and quantity of a society’s social interactions.” Social capital is increasingly seen as essential for building strong communities and fostering progress.
Five key dimensions have been identified as useful for assessing social capital – groups and networks, trust, collective action, social inclusion and information & communication.
The OECD Family Database is an on-line database on family outcomes and family policies with indicators for all OECD countries. It provided information under 4 broad headings; the structure of families, the labour market position of families, public policies for families and children and child outcomes. It includes information such as fertility rates, family composition and workplace hours and time for caring.
Babies and Bosses – Reconciling Work and Family Life: A Synthesis of Findings for OECD Countries Based on OECD-wide indicators, this report examines tax/benefit policies, parental leave systems, child and out-of-school-hours care support, and workplace practices that help determine parental labour market outcomes and family formation across the OECD.
The World Bank has produced two tools for measuring social captial, the Social Capital Assessment Tool (SOCAT) and the Social Capital Integrated Questionnaire (SC-IQ).
Most countries record data on various kinds of interpersonal relationships at the country level. For more information refer to our country pages for the national statistical office in that country.
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