ERIC Number: EJ771698
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007
Reference Count: N/A
Citizen Participation in Neighborhood Organizations and Its Relationship to Volunteers' Self- and Collective Efficacy and Sense of Community
Ohmer, Mary L.
Social Work Research, v31 n2 p109-120 2007
"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.
Descriptors: Economically Disadvantaged, Volunteers, Citizen Participation, Self Efficacy, Neighborhoods, Social Work, Community Involvement, Decision Making
National Association of Social Workers (NASW). 750 First Street NE Suite 700, Washington, DC 20002. Tel: 800-227-3590; e-mail: email@example.com; Web site: http://www.naswpress.org
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Pennsylvania