Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



First Advisor

Wendy J. Harrod

Second Advisor

Stephen G. Sapp


Previous systemic models of community attachment have not included individual participation in local community groups and attitudes toward the community as intervening variables to predict community attachment through individual sociodemographic characteristics. Social Identity Theory provides a perspective to justify their inclusion when community attachment is perceived as an outcome of individuals' social identification with their own communities;Based on social identity theory, a systemic model is proposed to test the notion that community attachment indicated by its psychological dimension is affected significantly by individual participation in local community groups and attitudes toward the community which are predicted by individual differences in age, length of residence, education, and income. Path analysis and Hierarchical Linear Modeling were used to examine the specified relationships among the variables both at the individual-level and at the community-level. The results confirm that participation in local communities and attitudes toward the community are the primary determinants of psychological attachment to the community at the two levels. Significant community-level variations on some of the variable relations are also detected in hierarchical linear analysis. Two community characteristics, community social environment and the quality of community services, were studied as important structural factors to explain the observed community variations. The theoretical and empirical implications of the study were discussed to suggest future research issues and strategies for community integration efforts.



Digital Repository @ Iowa State University,

Copyright Owner

Li-Jun Zhao



Proquest ID


File Format


File Size

129 pages