How Far Have We Come? an Integrative Review of the Current Literature on Sense of Community and Well-Being.

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American Journal of Community Psychology

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Sense of community and well-being are considered core tenets in the field of community psychology, acting as focal points for theory, research, and action. This integrative review synthesizes the empirical literature on sense of community and well-being with respect to four research questions focused on the relationships between these variables, the methodologies used to study those relationships, and how future research might expand upon the current literature. A search of the available literature produced 30 articles that met the search criteria, based primarily on conceptualizations and measurement of both sense of community and hedonic and eudaimonic well-being. This review suggests a general consensus across the literature of a positive relationship between sense of community and well-being among both youth and adults in a variety of settings, and discusses the strengths and limitations of this area of research, pointing to the need for more nuanced, ecologically valid research that incorporates more qualitative and critical methodologies. We hope that this review can promote a more thorough understanding of how sense of community and individual well-being relate to each other, and that ongoing research in this area can be a catalyst for action research and interventions that are applied to pressing contemporary issues as well as strengths-based approaches focused on how to foster and support the well-being of individuals within their community contexts.


© 2020 Society for Community Research and Action.



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