Family structure and community attachment
Many rural communities in South Dakota are losing population. The loss of residents threatens immediate and future sustainability of these communities. This study investigated if there was an association between family structure and community attachment. Youth (N = 182) from 13 rural communities participated in the study. All participants were in 9th through 12th grades in South Dakota schools. Buckner’s Neighborhood Cohesion Instrument was used to determine attachment to the community. Family structure, length of time in the community, and divorce rates were hypothesized to be related to community attachment.
Family structure was not found to be a significant factor in community attachment. Length of time lived in the community was significantly associated with attachment. Youth that lived with both biological married parents had lived in the community for significantly longer periods of time. Community divorce rate was not found to be associated with community attachment in this study. Community attachment is affected by many factors. Understanding these factors is important as small rural communities seek solutions to remain viable.
Individual & family studies
0628: Individual & family studies