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

Perceived collective efficacy refers to people's idea about the ability of their community to get together and solve local problems. It reflects the extent to which people feel they could count on their neighbors to work for a common cause. Strong connection to the neighborhood storytelling network and a high sense of belonging make for a higher perceived collective efficacy.  Exchanging stories about the neighborhood and feeling connected to the community give residents the sense that they are a part of a group that can tackle difficulties when they arise.

Description:  Individual residents’ trust in their community’s capacity for mobilizing neighborhood problem-solving activities.

Operational Definition: A composite variable containing 6 items about individual residents’ confidence in their neighbors’ willingness to participate in neighborhood problem solving.

Range: The Perceived Collective Efficacy (PCE) variable ranges from a minimum score of 1 to a maximum of 5.

Items Included:

How many of your neighbors do you feel could be counted on to 'do something' if:

CE1: The sports field or park that neighborhood kids want to play on has become unsafe?

CE2: You asked them to help you organize a holiday block party?

CE3: There were dangerous potholes on the streets where you live?

CE4: A stop sign or a speed bump was needed to prevent people from driving too fast through your neighborhood?

CE5: The trees along the streets in your neighborhood were uprooting the sidewalks, making them unsafe?

CE6: A child in your neighborhood is showing clear evidence of being in trouble, or getting into big trouble?

CE1 to CE6 are measured on a scale from 1 to 5 where 1 is None, 2 is Few, 3 is Some, 4 is Most and 5 is None.

Computing the Perceived Collective Efficacy (PCE) measure:

Compute the PCE variable as the average of CE1 to CE6: 

PCE = (CE1 + CE2 + CE3 + CE4 + CE5 + CE6)/6

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