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Abstract As they examine the complex issues currently facing rural America, rural sociologists draw increasingly on studies of community attachment. Because this research tradition has established the superiority of the systemic model, recent studies in rural and urban settings have focused on the conceptualization and operationalization of its components. We introduce four operational refinements to this model, and we test our refined model with data from one geographic area in south-west Louisiana. We find that, although our operational refinements improve our understanding of community attachment, additional refinements are necessary. We conclude by exploring the implications of community attachment studies for attempts to revitalize community in rural settings.