Community connectedness describes the strength and quality of ties between members of a community. Community connectedness protects against all of NC’s five prioritized forms of violence. One key component of community connectedness is collective efficacy: the cohesion between members of a community and their willingness to intervene on behalf of the common good. Higher levels of collective efficacy are associated with lower rates of youth violence, child maltreatment, and intimate partner violence. Social capital, another directly related concept, has been linked to intimate partner violence and child maltreatment, as well as chronic disease, infectious disease, income inequality, and a host of other health concerns.
Initiatives to increase community connectedness and related concepts like collective efficacy and social capital are varied. They include community-based after-school programs, community gardens, community art and social centers, and community health worker programs. In general, they seek to foster trust, commitment, and solidarity among members of a community, and promote community assets.
Resources: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Suicide Prevention Resource Center, U.S. DHHS Administration on Children, Youth, and Families, NC Institute of Medicine, The Community Guide