PRIN 2022 - Social capital as resource of care practice in Italy: Caregiving and social support in pandemic time (Prot. 2022B58JHF)

Data inizio
15 ottobre 2023
Durata (mesi) 
Scienze Umane
Responsabili (o referenti locali)
Tronca Luigi
Parole chiave
Social capital, Caregiving, Social support, Frail elderly people, People with disabilities, COVID-19 and fragility

PROGETTO DI RICERCA DI RILEVANTE INTERESSE NAZIONALE (PRIN) – “Social capital as resource of care practice in Italy: Caregiving and social support in pandemic time” – Prot. 2022B58JHF, Finanziato dall’Unione Europea – NextGenerationEU, Ministero dell’Università e della Ricerca, Italia Domani – PIANO NAZIONALE DI RIPRESA E RESILIENZA (PNRR) – Missione 4 “Istruzione e Ricerca” - Componente 2, Investimento 1.1, “Fondo per il Programma Nazionale di Ricerca e Progetti di Rilevante Interesse Nazionale (PRIN)”, Decreto Direttoriale n. 104 del 2 febbraio 2022, Avviso pubblico per la presentazione di Progetti di ricerca di Rilevante Interesse Nazionale (PRIN) da finanziare nell’ambito del PNRR. CUP (Università degli Studi di Verona): B53D23019350006.

Principal Investigator: Prof.ssa Donatella Bramanti (Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Milano)

Associated Investigator: Prof. Fabio Ferrucci (Università degli Studi del Molise)

Associated Investigator: Prof. Luigi Tronca (Università degli Studi di Verona)


The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the extent of the demand for healthcare services, social and economic support, and care in Italy. Along with the demand, the response in terms of providing support also emerged. This proposal focuses on those who formally and informally provide care to people in a state of frailty and who offer support to people exposed to different degrees of vulnerability. The research hypotheses on which this project is based will consider relationships of help, as well as the networks formed and the actions taken because of them, in order to ascertain whether they allow various types of social capital to be generated. If these hypotheses are confirmed, these types of social capital could prove a significant added value to improve the quality of life in the whole country.

From a methodological standpoint, an articulate research design will be used, involving a series of qualitative researches, a national in-depth quantitative research survey, and a national quantitative research survey. Respondents will fall into the following categories, providing support in a wide range of ways:
- caregivers of frail elderly people and their relationships/networks of support;
- caregivers of people with disabilities and their relationships/networks of support;
- people/networks of relationships looking after individuals with issues arising from a COVID-19 infection;
- people from different social backgrounds and people/networks of relationships looking after individuals in precarious economic and working conditions due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The first two groups regularly perform the specific caregiving role by providing assistance to the frail elderly people or person with disability, either as family members, friends, volunteers, or professional home caregivers. The other two groups are aimed at identifying individuals and/or networks of relationships who/which have offered support in the aforementioned states of vulnerability, not by performing a specific caregiving role, but by providing a customized form of support in managing critical situations.

In the first year, qualitative researches will be conducted on all four identified target groups, in order to better understand their specificity in terms of care, in a broader sense of the term.

In the second year, the results of the above researches will be merged into two national surveys, a general one on adults residing in Italy and a more specific one on the caregivers of people with disabilities, in collaboration with specific organizations.

The surveys will allow to map the whole range of support offered in Italy. Overall, it will be possible to detect potential supplies of traditional and emerging social capital, by broadening the knowledge about those offering support and caregiving services, and providing empirical evidence to policy makers at a local, regional and national level.

Enti finanziatori:

MUR - Ministero dell'Università e della Ricerca
Finanziamento: assegnato e gestito dal Dipartimento

Partecipanti al progetto

Sergio Cecchi
Giorgio Gosetti
Professore associato
Cristina Lonardi
Professore associato
Sandro Stanzani
Professore associato
Luigi Tronca
Professore ordinario