Sense of community and social participation and the impact on well being in individuals living in subsidized housing
Very few studies have assessed the relationship between sense of community (SOC), social participation and well being (Albanesi, Cicognani & Zani, 2007; Brodsky, O'Campo & Aronson, 1999; Cicognani, Pirini, Keyes, Joshanloo, Rostani & Nosratabadi 2008). Even fewer have explored the dynamic relationship among these variables for individuals who live in low income communities or subsidized housing (Brodsky, O'Campo & Aronson, 1999). Some literature has focused on examining the connection between SOC and social participation, and, although there is some evidence of this connection, the majority of studies have focused on comparing the impact of one variable on some other variable or explored the directionality of the relationship between the two variables. Knowledge is still very scarce about the actual contribution of the interaction between SOC and social participation to emotional, social, psychological and physical well being. This study addressed this interaction by surveying residents living in subsidized housing in Lowell to assess their experiences. Research was conducted with the help of the Lowell Housing Authority (LHA). Findings showed that SOC and social participation predicted emotional and social well being respectively for the overall sample. The interaction of SOC and social participation only predicted psychological well being for females. This study offers a series of implications for further research and programming. The most important implications for future research are related to the exploration of social participation in low income communities and the impact of neighboring and SOC on well being. In terms of implications for programming, this study offers important considerations related to how to enhance well being among residents living in subsidized housing and to those living in low income communities in general.
0451: Social psychology