ISSN 1671-3710
CN 11-4766/R

Advances in Psychological Science ›› 2015, Vol. 23 ›› Issue (7): 1280-1288.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2015.01280

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Sense of Community: Concepts, Values, Theories and Advances

LI Xu1; CHEN Hong1,2; LI Bingbing1; LIAO Jun1; YANG Ting1; LIU Shuyang1   

  1. (1 School of Psychology, Southwest University; 2 Key laboratory of Cognition and Personality of Ministry of Education, Chongqing 400715, China)
  • Received:2014-10-10 Online:2015-07-15 Published:2015-07-15
  • Contact: CHEN Hong, E-mail:


Sense of community (SOC) includes geographical closeness, emotional connectedness, social interactions and other components. McMilian and Chavis' (1986) four-factor model is the most widely used SOC framework and includes 1) membership, 2) influence, 3) integration/fulfillment of needs, 4) shared emotional connection as dimensions. SOC research focuses mainly on two independent variables: SOC as an indicator of psychological well-being and SOC as a motivator of prosocial behaviors based on needs-based values-based models, respectively. In addition, recent literature in this area has emphasized 1) sense of immigrant community and sense of virtual community; 2) cultivation of SOC by creating artificial environments; and 3) fostering SOC by promoting culture diversity as important current issues. Future studies should focus on local and dynamic SOC development, establishing and revising SOC indices, and interventions to increase SOC in various contexts.

Key words: sense of community, psychological well-being, community engagement, virtual communities