Journal of Community Psychology

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Personal and community factors as predictors of different types of community engagement

Abstract Citizen participation is an important element of local democracy because it increases residents’ influence over local community issues. Using a sample of 494 Israeli participants, this paper examines, for the first time, the unique and combined contribution of personal factors (self‐esteem and mastery) and community factors (years of activity, knowledge of local services, trust in leaders, community commitment, and community belonging) to the explanation of the variance in each of two types of community engagement: development and planning, and activism and advocacy. Data analysis included hierarchical regression that examined all variables and possible interactions among them. The results indicate that mastery and the community variables, except for years of activity, predict both types of engagement. Interestingly, knowledge of services negatively predicts both, while trust in leaders also predicts both types of engagement, but in opposite directions. In conclusion, the paper considers how these findings might inform community work interventions.

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