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Measures for Community and Neighborhood Research

Measures for Community and Neighborhood Research

First Edition

August 2018 | 488 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc

Measures for Community and Neighborhood Research is the first book of its kind to compile measures focused on communities and neighborhoods in one accessible resource. Organized into two main sections, the first provides the rationale, structure and purpose, and analysis of methodological issues, along with a conceptual and theoretical framework; the second section contains 10 chapters that synthesize, analyze, and describe measures for community and neighborhood research, with tables that summarize highlighted measures. The book will get readers thinking about which aspects of the neighborhood may be most important to measure in different research designs and also help researchers, practitioners, funders, and others more closely examine the impact of their work in communities and neighborhoods.


List of Measures and Tables
Chapter 1: Introduction and Purpose
Defining Communities and Neighborhoods

Overview of Measurement Methods and Inclusion Criteria for Measures in this Book

Measurement Reliability

Measurement Validity

Purpose and Structure

Description of Book Chapters


Chapter 2: Framework for Community and Neighborhood Measurement
Our Conceptual Framework

Conceptual Domains

Examples of Community Measures in Research and Practice

Example Application 1: Improving Access to Healthy Food

Example Application 2: Promotion of Community Health

Example Application 3: Promoting Community Safety and Preventing Violence

Example Application 4: Prevention of Substance Use Disorders


Chapter 3: Methodological Considerations for Community and Neighborhood Measurement
Methodological Issues When Using Community or Neighborhood-Level Measures

Special Problems With Ecological and Geographic Units

Ecological Fallacy

The Modifiable Areal Unit Problem (MAUP)

Uncertain Geographic Context Problem (UGCoP)

Violation of the Independence Assumption

Sampling Considerations When Community Is the Unit of Analysis

Addressing Sparseness Within Neighborhood Samples

Sampling Neighborhoods or Place-Based Communities

Sample Power in Multi-Level Studies

Assessing the Reliability of Neighborhood-Level Measures: Ecometrics

Overall Methodological Issues for Community and Neighborhood Measurement

Specifying Neighborhood as a Social and Geographic Unit

Administrative Boundaries

Resident-Perceived Neighborhoods

Physical and Spatial Characteristics

Activity Spaces

Considerations in Selecting the Unit of Analysis

Objective Versus Subjective Neighborhood Measurement

Engaging Community Partners in the Selection of Measures

Using New Technology to Measure Neighborhoods


Chapter 4: Community Readiness and Capacity for Change
Defining Community Readiness and Capacity

Community Readiness Model

Community Capacity for Change

Measuring Community Readiness and Capacity

Measures of Community Readiness

Measures of Community Capacity

Combined Measures of Community Readiness and Capacity


Chapter 5: Strategic Collective Action in Communities
The Importance of Measuring Strategic Collective Action

Methods for Measuring Strategic Collective Action

Measures of Strategic Collective Action

Participation, Representation, and Activities





Chapter 6: Social Connections and Processes in Communities
Why is it important to measure social connections and processes in communities?

Sense of Community (SOC) Measures

Construct Validity of the SOC

SOC as an Individual- and Community-Level Construct

Measures of Neighborhood Social Processes

Collective Efficacy

Neighborhood Matters Measure

Social Capital Measures

Saguaro Seminar on Civic Engagement

Social Capital Measure From the Project on Human Development in Chicago Neighborhoods

More Recent Social Capital Measures


Chapter 7: Community Empowerment and Engagement
Why is it important to measure community empowerment and engagement?

Empowerment in Communities

Psychological Empowerment Measures

Community Empowerment Measure

Sociopolitical Control Measures

Community and Citizen Participation

Defining Community and Citizen Participation

Measures of Community and Citizen Participation

Civic Engagement

Defining Civic Engagement

Civic Engagement Measures


Chapter 8: Community Resources and Resident Satisfaction
Defining Community Resources and Satisfaction

Community Resources

Community Satisfaction

Satisfaction With Public Services

The Relationship Between Community Satisfaction and Satisfaction With Public Services

Why Measure Community Resources and Satisfaction?

Methods Used to Measure Community Resources and Satisfaction

Measures of Community Resources

Observation-Based Measures of Resources

Survey-Based Measures of Resources

Combining Observations and Survey Methods to Measure Community Resources

Measures of Community Satisfaction

Measures of Satisfaction With Public Services


Chapter 9: The Built Environment Influencing Healthy Living
Why is it important to measure the built environment?

How is the built environment measured?

Overview of Measures

Neighborhood Food Environment

Walkability of Neighborhoods

Recreation in Neighborhoods


Chapter 10: Housing and Neighborhood Change
Why are measures related to housing and neighborhood change important?

Housing Measures

Measures of Housing Quality

Measures of Housing Affordability

Measures of Housing Market Strength

Neighborhood Change Measures

Measures of Vacancy, Abandonment, and Blight

Measures of Residential Mobility and Housing Unit Turnover

Measures of Gentrification and Displacement


Chapter 11: Community Disorder, Crime, and Violence
Why Is It Important to Measure Disorder, Crime and Violence?

Community Disorder and Order Measures

Defining Community Disorder and Order

Measures of Community Disorder and Order

Fear of Crime

Defining Fear of Crime

Measures of Fear of Crime

Exposure to Community Violence

Defining Exposure to Community Violence

Measures of Exposure to Community Violence Among Children and Adolescents

Measures of Exposure to Community Violence Among Adults

Crime, Violence, and Related Data


Chapter 12: Place-based Social Exclusion and Inequity
Measuring Community Social Disadvantage

Quantifying Place-Based Segregation by Race, Ethnicity, and Income

Minority–Majority Group Measures of Segregation

Multiple Group Segregation Measures

Economic Segregation Measures

Spatial Segregation Measures

Community Diversity Measures

Measurement of Neighborhood Racial and Ethnic Diversity

Measuring Income Diversity in Neighborhoods

Measuring Access to Opportunity

Measures of Job Access

Measures of Access to Services and Amenities


Chapter 13: Community Well-Being and Quality of Life
Defining Well-Being/Quality of Life

Individual Well-Being

Social Well-Being

Community or Neighborhood Well-Being

Why Measure Neighborhood Well-Being/Quality of Life?

As an Alternative to GDP

As an Alternative to DAYL

Well-Being Measures

Facet-Based Measures of Individual Well-Being That Include Community/Neighborhood Components

Global Measures of Community/Neighborhood Well-Being

Facet-Based Indicators of Community/Neighborhood Well-Being

Measures Used in Surveys

Measures That Use Administrative Data

Measures That Combine Survey Items and Administrative Data



Measure for Community and Neighborhood Research is a ‘one stop shop’ for community practitioners, researchers, students and advocates. Each chapter provides a wealth of knowledge and resources to identify keen methods for measuring outcomes and making and supporting sustainable change.”

John R. Barner
University of Georgia

Measures for Community and Neighborhood Research fills a gap in the literature; it puts core measures and methodological approaches in one place. It is a great resource for researchers engaged in interdisciplinary and multi-level analysis of communities.”

Robert Silverman
University at Buffalo

"Measure for Community and Neighborhood Research is the first book of its kind. Now community practitioners and scholars can find in one place the key measures used to define community characteristics and track change over time."

Richard J. Smith
Wayne State University

Measure for Community and Neighborhood Research is a real companion for Population Health students.

Professor Fazlay Faruque
Public Health, University Of Mississippi
February 21, 2019

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ISBN: 9781483358369