Citizen Participation in Neighborhood Organizations and Its Relationship to Volunteers' Self- and Collective Efficacy and Sense of Community
Author: Ohmer, Mary L.
Source: Social Work Research, Volume 31, Number 2, June 2007 , pp. 109-120(12)
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Abstract:Citizen participation is the active involvement of individuals in changing problematic conditions in communities and influencing policies and programs that affect the quality of their lives. Neighborhood organizations in poor communities often rely on volunteers to accomplish their goals. Therefore, social workers must understand how engaging residents in volunteer activities in their neighborhood benefits them individually and collectively. This study examined the relationship between resident involvement in neighborhood organizations and volunteers' self-efficacy, collective efficacy, and sense of community by surveying members and participants of four neighborhood organizations in poor communities in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Results demonstrated that volunteers involved in the organization's everyday activities and in decision making received the most benefits, including increased self-efficacy (leadership, policy control, neighborhood policy control, and knowledge and skills), organizational collective efficacy, and sense of community. Involvement in the everyday activities alone increased volunteers' self-efficacy and organizational collective efficacy. Implications for social work practice and strategies for developing the volunteer capacity of community-based organizations are discussed.
Document Type: Research article
Publication date: 2007-06-01
- Social Work Research publishes exemplary research to advance the development of knowledge and inform social work practice. Widely regarded as the outstanding journal in the field, it includes analytic reviews of research, theoretical articles pertaining to social work research, evaluation studies, and diverse research studies that contribute to knowledge about social work issues and problems.
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