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A Multidimensional Exploration of the Foundations of Community Attachment among Seasonal and Year-Round Residents

Authors


  • We acknowledge and thank Donald R. Field and A.E. Luloff for their participation in the larger research project from which data for this article were drawn. This project was conducted with major funding support from the National Research Initiative Competitive Grants Program administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture Cooperative Research Service, Grant #USDA CSREES 2003–35401–12889. Significant additional funding was provided by the Utah Agricultural Experiment Station, Project # UAES 00839. Direct correspondence to: Brian Jennings, Department of Sociology, Albright College, 13th and Bern Streets, Reading, PA 19612, bjennings@alb.edu, (610) 921–7892.

Abstract

Utah is a popular second-home destination because of its unique landscapes offering numerous natural amenities. This research utilized data from a mail survey of residents in six Utah counties and had two objectives: (1) to test a multidimensional conceptualization of community attachment and (2) to determine if the foundations of community attachment, based on those conceptual dimensions, are different for year-round and seasonal residents. The study utilized structural equation models, which allow the use of latent variables, to complete those objectives. Results revealed that a multidimensional conceptualization of community attachment is appropriate. The conceptual dimensions (social bonds, participation, and sentiments) used in this research all proved to be important elements of the higher order construct “community attachment” for both year-round and seasonal residents. For year-round residents, community attachment is best predicted by the social bonds dimension, while for seasonal residents the participation dimension is most important. However, all three of the dimensions of attachment used herein are important among both residence categories, indicating that future research on this topic would be best served by using a multidimensional conceptualization of community attachment.

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