Helping the soul: the relationship between connectivity and well-being within a church community

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Abstract

Although previous research attests to the importance of psychological sense of community (PSOC) to individuals' well-being, little research has examined this relationship for the four proposed dimensions of PSOC: membership, influence, integration and fulfillment of needs, and shared emotional connection (McMillan & Chavis, 1986). Further, little research has explored multiple aspects of community connectivity in the one study. The current research investigated the relationship between participants' (N=127) religiosity, PSOC, social support, and identification within a church community context and their well-being. Results indicated that the PSOC dimensions of shared emotional connection and influence were particularly important in the prediction of well-being in this context. Further, individuals' perception of social support mediated the relationship between PSOC and well-being and the strength of individuals' identification as a church member enhanced the relationships of both PSOC and religiosity with well-being. © 2009 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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