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Sense of community in adolescence

Sense of community in adolescence

Elvira Cicognani, Bruna Zani, Cinzia Albanesi
Department of Sciences of Education “G.M.Bertin”
University of Bologna
e-mail: elvira.cicognani@unibo.it

Abstract
In adolescence, Sense of Community (SoC) grows thanks to positive experiences with peers and significant adults in different settings (e.g., neighbourhoods, schools) and contributes to the development of personal and social identity and to positive developmental outcomes. In order to study SoC during this developmental period, it is important to develop instruments that adequately capture adolescents’ feelings and experiences within the community.
This paper describes the process of construction of an instrument to measure Sense of community among adolescents. A series of qualitative and quantitative studies lead to the identification of five dimensions of SoC, consistent with McMillan & Chavis (1986) model, that are relevant for this age group: sense of belonging, support and emotional connection with the community, support and emotional connection with peers, satisfaction of needs and opportunities for involvement, opportunities for influence. The scale, both in its complete (36 items) and short (20 items) version, demonstrated good psychometric properties, and positively correlates with perceived social support and well being. SoC referred to the hometown decreases across the adolescent years. Results of research conducted using this instrument indicated the important role of SoC in enhancing social participation during adolescence, and its contributing role in increasing social well being.

Key words: Sense of community, measurement, adolescence, social participation


Author

Elvira Cicognani, Bruna Zani, Cinzia Albanesi

Elvira Cicognani, Bruna Zani, Cinzia Albanesi
Department of Sciences of Education “G.M.Bertin”
University of Bologna
e-mail: elvira.cicognani@unibo.it

 


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Keywords: Sense of community, measurement, adolescence, social participation, 2nd ICCP, gjcpp