Community Connectedness

Scale: Community Engagement and Connections Survey – Connection to Community Subscale

What it measures:

  • A youth’s feelings of connectedness to his or her community.

Intended age range: This scale has been used with adolescents from Grade 8 upwards and is most appropriate for adolescent populations.

Brief description: This scale consists of 5 items that assess the extent to which the youth feels a sense of connectedness to his or her community, perceives that they are cared for, trusted, and respected by adults, and feels that this sense of connectedness is reciprocated. Sample items include: “I trust most of the people in my town,” and “Adults in my town respect what people my age think.” Each item is rated on a 5-point scale: Strongly disagree, Disagree, Unsure, Agree, or Strongly agree.

Rationale: This measure was selected based on evidence of reliability and validity and potential sensitivity to improvements in community connectedness that may occur through mentoring.

Cautions: None.

Special administration information: Youth in different geographical regions may refer to their communities using different terms (e.g., “town”, “city”, “community”). The term “town” can be replaced or augmented with more appropriate terms as needed (e.g., “ or city”).

How to score: Each item is scored on a 5-point scale ranging from 1 (Strongly disagree) to 5 (Strongly agree). The subscale score is computed by summing ratings across all 5 items after reverse scoring the one negatively worded item (“Adults in my town don’t care about people my age”).

How to interpret findings: Higher scores reflect stronger feelings of connectedness to the community.

Access and permissions: The scale is available for non-commercial use with no charge and is provided here.

Alternatives: Those interested in a measure of connectedness to the youth’s more immediate neighborhood could consider the Neighborhood Connectedness subscale of the Hemingway Measure of Adolescent Connectedness (MAC) for adolescents (Grades 6 and up) or the equivalent subscale of the Pre-Adolescent Measure of Adolescent Connectedness (PreMAC). The items in these scales measure the youth’s feelings about the neighborhood in which they reside. More information on the measure is available here.

Citation: Whitlock, J. (2007). The role of adults, public space, and power in adolescent community connectedness. Journal of Community Psychology, 35, 499-518.

More in this category: « Truancy Academic Self-Efficacy »

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