Community Attachment in a Rural Region1


  • 1

    Journal Paper No. J-12222 of the Iowa Agriculture and Home Economics Experiment Station, Ames, Iowa: Project 2776. I thank James A. Christenson, Danny R. Hoyt, David L. Rogers, and anonymous reviewers for comments on earlier drafts of this paper.


Abstract Two models of community attachment in mass society—the linear development model and the systemic model—are reviewed. Based on data from respondents living in 27 communities in north-central Iowa, population size and density, key variables in the linear-development model, relate only weakly to community attachment as measured by social bonds and local sentiments. Length of residence, income, and age, which are variables in the systemic model, generally are more strongly related to the bonds and sentiments. Because samples were sufficiently large that data for each community could be analyzed independently, additional tests of the systemic model were possible; results indicate that differences occur among communities within an area thought to be relatively homogeneous.