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Sense of Community Measure for individuals with serious mental illness

Presentation on SCI-2 initial results/reliability


A variety of sense of community measures have been developed, but the
identification of latent factors in developed scales to measure this construct
has encountered significant psychometric problems involving reliability and
validity. We present a new measure called the Psychological Sense of
Community Scale, which is based on three distinct ecological domains
involving the individual, microsystem, and macrosystem. We used an
exploratory factor analysis to investigate our three theoretical domains
involving Self (identity and importance to self), Membership (social
relationships), and Entity (a group’s organization and purpose). Three
theoretically derived factors emerged with good measurement model fit,
internal reliabilities, and convergent validity. Our study also found
multiplicative over additive effects, suggesting each of the three domains is
necessary to understand the experience of sense of community. This scale
can be adapted to a variety of contexts and situations in future


Settings that have ecological variables that instill hope might be
particularly effective for treating individuals with substance use disorders.
More specifically, trust and sense of community could be of importance in
the fostering of hope among individuals in recovery from substance use
disorders. Our study included a sample of individuals who were living in
or had lived in Oxford House recovery homes. We found that both sense of
community and trust are ecological aspects of settings that had important
influences on hope, because an engaged individual tends to value trust
relationships. Perceptions of the house operating effectively was positively
related to individuals’ assessment of the house as a good setting, but the
house was not perceived to be as effective when the residents were not
invested in the setting. The sense of community self factor was the best
predictor of hope, suggesting that individuals’ personal investment in their
house community are related to their hopefulness in terms of goal
attainment and opportunities. Associations of hopefulness, personal
commitment, and a supportive ecology provide evidence that an
individual’s perspective on recovery encompasses personal, environmental,
and temporal perceptions.

Measurement Performance of the Sense of Community Index in Substance Abuse Recovery Communal Housing

A critical concept in the community psychology has been the sense of community. One
of the better known instruments developed and evaluated to measure this construct is
the Sense of Community Index (SCI: Perkins, Florin, Rich, Wandersman, & Chavis,
1990). The present research examined the unidimensional SCI’s measurement
properties with an adult population (n = 662; M age = 38.4) recovering from substance
abuse and residing in Oxford House recovery residences. Overall, the SCI exhibited
sufficient reliability as a unidimensional instrument, but lacked reliability as a
theoretical four factor model. It did, however, demonstrate an invariant 3 factor latent
structure relating to rationale for connection (7 items), social bonds (3 items), and
personal importance (2 items). Race was found to be associated with personal
importance. In addition, personal importance was predictive of the likelihood of
remaining a resident in Oxford House. The implications of these findings for the field of
resilience are discussed.

Sense of Community Among Individuals in Substance Abuse Recovery

This study assessed the psychometric properties of the Perceived
Sense of Community Scale (PSCS). Psychological sense of community
is a construct that has been developed primarily in the field
of community psychology and deals with the feelings of connectedness,
group membership, and need fulfillment that members of
small groups or larger communities may have toward other members.
The current research explores this concept in the evaluation
of Oxford Houses, residential homes designed to provide mutual
support to individuals recovering from substance abuse and dependence,
through the use of the PSCS. Overall, the PSCS was a
multidimensional scale exhibiting a cluster of negatively phrased
items with a large number of highly loading items.Within the threefactor
structure, two factors were nearly perfectly correlated, and
neither sex nor race bias affected the initial formulation. However,
sex and race were significant (but of small magnitude) covariates
in a later sample, and highly reliable subscales were formulated
with five items. Taken together, the PSCS was capable of performing
as an acceptable measurement model in latent analysis.

Self-Efficacy and Sense of Community among Adults Recovering from Substance Abuse

Previous researchers found that abstinence-specific self-efficacy has been predictive of the likelihood of relapse for individuals in recovery from substance abuse. Oxford Houses are sober living homes that provide mutual support and are resident funded and operated. The relationships between house level sense of community and abstinence-specific self-efficacy were examined in the present study with a sample of 754 adults living in 139 Oxford Houses nationwide in a multilevel model. A significant positive relationship between house level sense of community and self-efficacy was observed. These findings have both research and therapeutic implications.

Measuring Sense of Community: Beyond Local Boundaries

One hundred and thirty-three male addicts and alcoholics completed psychometric
measures of psychological sense of community, stress, social support,
and hope. Factor analysis of item responses (Varimax rotation) on the sense
of community scale produced a three-factor solution, with Factor 1 (12 items)
labeled Mission, assessing the perception that one is actively engaged with
others in the pursuit of a common purpose; Factor 2 (12 items) labeled Reciprocal
Responsibility, referring to the perception that there are acknowledged
members of an ongoing group who are mutually responsible to each other;
and Factor 3 (6 items) labeled Disharmony, representing dissatisfaction with
aspects of community experience. The resulting composite scale was
significantly correlated with a standardized measure of social support, and
serves to measure the psychological sense of community construct beyond the
context of local residence.