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Metamorphosis Project Measures: A Step-by-Step Guide for Measuring Communication Connections and Civic Engagement

Belonging measures the attachment of a resident to his or her neighborhood. It captures two important aspects: (1) the way people feel about their neighbors and (2) the way people interact with their neighbors. Residents who are well connected to the neighborhood storytelling network are likely to have high levels of belonging. Ties to other residents or community organizers, for example, may motivate a person for everyday acts of neighborliness.

Description: Residents’ feeling and behaviors of attachment to a residential area that motivate everyday acts of neighborliness

Operational Definition: Sum of 8 items measuring subjective and objective dimensions of neighborhood belonging.

Range: The Belonging variable ranges from a minimum score of 4 to a maximum of 40.

Items Included:

Do you strongly agree, agree, neither agree nor disagree, disagree, or strongly disagree with the statement :

SB1: You are interested in knowing what your neighbors are like

SB2: You enjoy meeting and talking with your neighbors

SB3: It’s easy to become friends with your neighbors

SB4: Your neighbors always borrow things from you and your family

SB1 to SB4 are measured on a scale from 1 (Strongly Disagree) to 5 (Strongly Agree)

How many of your neighbors do you know well enough to ask them to:

OB1: Keep watch on your house or apartment? 

OB2: Ask for a ride? 

OB3: Talk with them about a personal problem?

OB4: Ask for their assistance in making a repair?

OB1 to OB4 are measured as the number of neighbors given by respondent.

Computing the Belonging Measure:

1. Recode OB1 to OB4 so that any score larger than 10 is recoded to 10.

(Ten is the number we use, you can select a different one that makes sense for your data)

2. Divide OB1 to OB4 by two so that they range from 0 to 5.

3. Compute belonging as the sum of SB1 to SB4 and OB1 to OB4:

Belonging = SB1+SB2+SB3+SB4+OB1+OB2+OB3+OB4

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