Research on psychological sense of community (PSOC) has documented its importance and connection to many varied factors (e.g., health, volunteerism). However, three gaps in the literature remain. First, there is a lack of consensus in how PSOC is conceptualized. Second, researchers have failed to consider that sense of community could be defined in solely psychological terms. Third, there is little insight into what comprises a solely psychological sense of community and how it manifests itself (i.e., its correlates). The three studies presented here address these gaps by (a) better elucidating the structure of a PSOC defined in solely psychological terms and its cross-cultural applicability (Study 1); (b) providing insight into how PSOC manifests itself (i.e., its correlates) and how these manifestations are similar or different across cultures (Study 2); and (c) presenting evidence for the role of PSOC in predicting and influencing prosocial action (Study 3). Results shape a concrete conceptualization of the PSOC construct, including a well-documented understanding of its composition, what it relates to, and its cross-cultural variability. Findings also support the idea that PSOC is not only a theoretically-relevant construct, but that it also has ties to many key aspects of our daily lives, enriching both theory and real-world applications.
University of Minnesota Ph.D. dissertation. May 2011. Major: Psychology. Advisors: Marti Hope Gonzales, Alex Rothman. 1 computer file (PDF); vi, 162 pages, appendices A-D.
Mannino, Clelia Anna.
Expanding the boundaries of community: toward measuring a solely psychological sense of community..
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