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Beyond Collective Efficacy: New Brief Measures to Assess the Outer Layers of the Social Ecology
Current Issue
Volume 2, 2015
Issue 2 (April)
Pages: 14-23   |   Vol. 2, No. 2, April 2015   |   Follow on         
Paper in PDF Downloads: 36   Since Aug. 28, 2015 Views: 2495   Since Aug. 28, 2015
Lindsey T. Roberts, Department of Psychology, University of the South, Sewanee, TN, USA.
Sherry Hamby, Department of Psychology, University of the South, Sewanee, TN, USA; Appalachian Center for Resilience Research, Sewanee, TN, USA.
John Grych, Department of Psychology, Marquette University, Milwaukee, WI, USA.
Victoria Banyard, Department of Psychology, University of New Hampshire, Durham, NH, USA.
Introduction: Community support can be a valuable interpersonal resource anywhere, yet past research has largely been focused on adults in urban neighborhoods. Because communities are no longer solely defined by a shared physicality, we offer psychometric data on three new measures to assess other communal resources: informal community support, support for community youth, and workplace integration. Methods: Participants (N=1706) from a largely rural, low-income Southern region completed a computer-assisted questionnaire as part of a larger study on character development and personal strength. Ages range from 11 to 70 years old (M=29.3 years; SD=12.3 years); 63% of participants are female. Results: Internal consistency was good for our 3 new measures, .70 to .86 and each scale comprised a single factor in exploratory factor analyses. Correlations with collective efficacy (convergent validity) were all positive and significant and range from .18 to .57. Correlations with measures of subjective well-being range from .21 to .29, and correlations with mental and physical health outcomes ranged from .14 to .23. Implications: Studying communities in addition to individuals and families can potentially shed light on the variety of ways in which community ties can foster well-being and resilience. The three new measures presented here assess important but understudied aspects of communities.
Questionnaires, Community, Social Support, Youth, Workplace, Social Ecology, Collective Efficacy
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