THE ROLE OF SENSE OF COMMUNITY AND CONFLICT IN PREDICTING CONGREGATIONAL BELONGING
Article first published online: 9 DEC 2013
© 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Journal of Community Psychology
Volume 42, Issue 1, pages 99–118, January 2014
How to Cite
Mammana-Lupo, V., Todd, N. R. and Houston, J. D. (2014), THE ROLE OF SENSE OF COMMUNITY AND CONFLICT IN PREDICTING CONGREGATIONAL BELONGING. J. Community Psychol., 42: 99–118. doi: 10.1002/jcop.21596
- Issue published online: 9 DEC 2013
- Article first published online: 9 DEC 2013
This investigation extends research on religious congregations by examining how a sense of community and congregational conflict predict a sense of belonging to one's religious congregation. Based on a national random sample of 86,863 individuals nested in 424 congregations, we used multilevel logistic regression to test individual, congregational, and cross-level interactive effects. Findings revealed that sense of community dimensions of membership, influence, and emotional connections positively predicted belonging at the individual level, whereas fulfillment of spiritual needs positively predicted belonging at both individual and congregational levels. Conflict also predicted belonging; however, conflict negatively predicted belonging at the individual level and positively predicted belonging at the congregational level. Congregational conflict also moderated two associations between (a) belonging and influence and (b) belonging and emotional connection such that associations were stronger and more positive in the presence of greater conflict. Implications for future research and partnership with religious congregations also are discussed.