Sense of Community in Adolescents from Two Different Territorial Contexts: The Moderating Role of Gender and Age

The role of structural characteristics of the residential context in influencing adolescents’ Sense of community (SoC) has received limited consideration in the literature. Aim of this study was to assess SoC in male and female adolescents living in two Italian provinces characterized by different positions on indicators of quality of life. The moderating role of adolescent gender and age group on SoC was also considered. The sample includes 1,182 adolescents: 46.2 % male and 53.8 % female. Age ranged from 16 to 22 years (M = 17.5; SD = 1.23). Findings indicate that levels of Sense of community differ between the two provinces and are higher among adolescents living in the more “advantaged” context (Rimini) based on quality of life objective indicators. Males score higher than females except in the more “advantaged” context, whereas girls experience greater opportunities for influence. SoC tends to decrease with age, as the context becomes increasingly insufficient for satisfying adolescents’ needs. Findings indicate that the context significantly affects adolescents’ SoC and that such effect is partly moderated by gender and age.

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