violence prevention and community connectedness

Strategies: Community Connectedness

The following strategy types have an impact on community connectedness. These include (click to expand):

Community gardens

Community gardens have been shown to increase collective efficacy and perceptions of neighborhood social capital and connectedness (Teig et al, 2009; Comstock et al, 2010; Teig et al, 2009).

Community arts programs

Community arts programs provide participants the opportunity to build creativity and connectedness and increase both their appreciation for the arts and their efficacy for addressing community health concerns (Ohmer & Owens, 2013Chung, Jones, & Collins, 2009). 

Additional resources: Local arts councils are located in nearly every county in North Carolina.

Community and recreation centers

Community and recreation centers are gathering spaces that provide a variety of programs, services, and resources, either for the general public or for a specific group, such as youth or senior citizens (County Health Rankings and Roadmaps). Community centers may serve to strengthen citizenship and social ties and provide spaces for youth, adults, and seniors to interact in healthy and enriching ways (Glover, 2003; Maton, 2002).

Neighborhood associations

Are “groups of residents who work together to improve and enhance the geographic area in which they and others live.” (What Works for Health, Wisconsin). They may play an important role in increasing social capital and cohesion in communities(CDC).

Intergenerational mentoring

Intergenerational mentoring programs increase educational achievement and reduce delinquency among youth mentees and show promise as an effective method for reducing isolation and increasing feelings of self-worth among older adult mentors (County Health Rankings and Roadmaps).

Additional resources: What Works for Health, Wisconsin, Harvard Family Research Project

Participation / volunteerism...

in neighborhood nonprofit organizationsOhmer (2007) found that “engaging residents in volunteer activities in their neighborhood benefits them individually and collectively.” Further, participation in voluntary organizations increased participants’ sense of community and organizational collective efficacy (Ohmer, 2007).

Photovoice & community...

improvement projectsOhmer & Owens (2013) found a community-based Photovoice and neighborhood improvement project increased levels of collective efficacy among participants. The process “facilitated stronger social ties among neighborhood residents, as well as strategies for intervening in neighborhood problems.”

Additional resources: Facilitator’s Guide to Youth Community Safety Photovoice


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