Sense of place amongst adolescents and adults in two rural Australian towns: The discriminating features of place attachment, sense of community and place dependence in relation to place identity
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This study investigates whether dimensions of sense of place can discriminate those residents who identify with their rural town, and prefer to stay, from those who do not, and whether patterns of association between these dimensions differ between adolescent and adult residents. Participants were 246 adults and 365 adolescents in two remote rural towns in Australia. Place identity was determined from residents' responses on a single item, 'I would really rather live in a different town. This one is not the place for me.' Three groups were classified: those agreeing, undecided and disagreeing with the statement. Discriminating variables were place attachment (emotional bonding and behavioural commitment), sense of community (affiliation and belonging) and place dependence (available activities, quality and quality comparison with alternative communities). A direct discriminant function analysis showed 76.4 per cent of adults were correctly classified from one discriminant function accounting for 92 per cent of the variance. Indicators of dependence, belonging, behavioural commitment and emotional bonding, loaded above 0.45. Sixty-two per cent of adolescents were correctly classified from one discriminant function accounting for 93.6 per cent of the variance. Indicators of dependence and belonging loaded 0.45 and above. Discussion considers distinguishing dimensions of sense of place and identifying associations amongst them as ways to explore the experience of community in everyday life.
Journal of Environmental Psychology