This research was supported by funds from the Utah Agricultural Experiment Station, Project UAES-00839. An earlier version of this paper was presented at the 1998 annual meetings of the Rural Sociological Society, held in Portland, Oregon.
Growth, Decline, Stability, and Disruption: A Longitudinal Analysis of Social Well-Being in Four Western Rural Communities*
Article first published online: 22 OCT 2009
2001 Rural Sociological Society
Volume 66, Issue 3, pages 425–450, September 2001
How to Cite
Smith, M. D., Krannich, R. S. and Hunter, L. M. (2001), Growth, Decline, Stability, and Disruption: A Longitudinal Analysis of Social Well-Being in Four Western Rural Communities. Rural Sociology, 66: 425–450. doi: 10.1111/j.1549-0831.2001.tb00075.x
- Issue published online: 22 OCT 2009
- Article first published online: 22 OCT 2009
Abstract During the 1970s and 1980s, social scientists focused considerable attention on patterns of community change in boomtowns affected by large-scale energy resource development in the western United States. The resulting literature has provided inconsistent and relatively inconclusive evidence about the extent of various forms of social disruption caused by the rapid economic and demographic changes associated with such developments. In particular, because of a lack of in-depth longitudinal research, little is known about the degree to which social problems observed during rapid growth periods in such locations may persist after the boom. This research addresses some of those questions through a longitudinal examination of various dimensions of social well-being in four western rural communities. Community surveys conducted four times across a 13-year span provide data on patterns of change for 10 distinct indicators of social well-being. Results show that although social disruptions occur in several dimensions of well-being during boom periods, not all dimensions appear to be affected by such growth. Also, when boom-induced declines in well-being occur, they are consistently followed by a sharp rebound, with no evidence of lasting disruption.