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Viewing community as responsibility as well as resource: deconstructing the theoretical roots of psychological sense of community



This article is corrected by:

  1. Errata: Erratum Volume 39, Issue 8, 1040, Article first published online: 11 October 2011


The field of scholarship surrounding the construct of psychological sense of community (PSOC) has been dominated by first-order learning processes attending to issues of measurement and prediction of the four-dimensional framework proposed by McMillan and Chavis (1976). This article seeks to contribute to the conceptual development of PSOC by clarifying the second-order assumptions of PSOC as it is represented in prevailing conception and measurement. We introduce human needs theory as a macro framework for representing the definition and study of PSOC to date. Second, we illuminate the limitations of a purely needs theory perspective of PSOC and propose the value of exploring alternative theoretically grounded perspectives. Third, we offer an alternative theoretical base for PSOC—a sense of community as responsibility—and highlight how this alternative theoretical lens can suggest new models for understanding the dynamic between PSOC, psychological well-being, and community engagement. © 2010 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.