Measuring Constructs

Measuring Constructs of Community Organization and Community Building

Useful measures of community empowerment, capacity, and social capital:

  • Assessments of sense of community (Chavis and Pretty, 1999)
  • Community competence (Eng and Parker, 1994)
  • Multi-level perceived control (Israel, Checkoway, Schulz, and Zimmerman, 1994)
    • Twelve item measure to assess individual perceptions of control or influence at three levels: individual, organizational and community.
    • Four-point response scale was used for subscale at all levels,
    • Reliability was good: Cronbach Alpha = 0.71
    • Social cohesion, social influence, trust, reciprocity, social capital, and civic engagement (Kreuter, Lezin, and Koplan, 1997; Kawachi, Kennedy, Lochner, and Prothrow-Stith, 1997)
      • Social Cohesion - Five-item scale with a 5-point Likert response.
      • Sample questions include: "people in this neighborhood can be trusted" and "people in this neighborhood generally don't get along with each other"
      • Reliability was good: Cronbach Alpha = 0.71.
    • Psychological empowerment beliefs of perceived control, critical understanding of one's social environment, and participation in social action (Zimmerman, 1990, 2000)