Sense of community, psychological empowerment, and relational structure at the individual and organizational levels: Evidence from a multicase study

Ignacio Ramos-Vidal, Jorge Palacio, Alicia Uribe, Ilse Villamil, Belkis Castro

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    2 Scopus citations


    The aim of this study was to determine the associations among psychological sense of community (PSoC), psychological empowerment (PE), and relational structure with indicators of centrality and cohesion in egocentric and sociocentric networks when analyzed at different levels. A multicase analysis was used (four developed in Colombia and one in Spain) in which 458 people participated in five studies conducted in organizational and community contexts of vulnerable urban and rural areas. The results suggest that PSoC and PE are intertwined processes whose association is accentuated in organizational contexts. However, the relationships between relational context and PSoC and PE vary notably depending on (a) the type of relationship evaluated, (b) the focus of the study (individual/egocentric vs. group/sociocentric) and the type of indicator used to assess the relational context (centrality vs. structural cohesion). Findings are discussed to understand the role that social bonds play in the development of PSoC and in the ability of subjects to empower themselves in different contexts.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)398-413
    Number of pages16
    JournalJournal of Community Psychology
    Issue number2
    StatePublished - 1 Mar 2020

    Bibliographical note

    Funding Information:
    This study is derived from the projects cited as follows: Working conditions, commitment to the community and organizational networks in the sector of the cultural industry of Andalusia (Spain). Funding entity: Fundación de Estudios Sindicales, CCOO-Andalucía. Project reference: 0687/0227 (support to case study 1). Structural evaluation of the implementation of the Program of Psychosocial Attention to Victims of the conflict in Colombia (PAPSIVI). Funding entity: Research Center for Development and Innovation at Universidad Pontificia Bolivariana (Montería). Project reference: 203-01/17/G-003 (support to case study 2). Personal networks of working children in families displaced by political violence in Colombia: Indicators for the evaluation of international cooperation actions for Development. Funding entity: Oficina de Cooperación al Desarrollo de la Universidad de Sevilla. Project reference: 0543/0226 (support to case study 3). From oppression to well-being: Strengthening social capital and social cohesion in rural communities of Córdoba (Colombia). Funding entity: Centro para la Investigación, el Desarrollo y la Innovación ascribed to the Universidad Pontificia Bolivariana. Project reference: 202-01/17/G-003 (support to case study 5). The authors would like to thank the potential reviewers: Siro Bayón-Calvo, PhD (University of Valladolid, Spain). E-mail: (Prof. Bayón is an expert on psychosocial intervention with different populations and in different intervention contexts); Elsy Domínguez de la Ossa, PhD (Technological University of Bolívar, Colombia). E-mail: (Prof. Domínguez has been working with high risk populations by applying models of interventions rooted on empowerment praxis); Júlia Halamová, PhD (Associate professor of Psychology, Comenius University, Slovenia). E-mail: (Prof. Halamová has published several papers centered on the study of psychological sense of community, also her study is focused on evaluation of psychometric properties of instruments to evaluate sense of community); Guillermina Chávez Torres, PhD (Universidad de Colima, Mexico). E-mail: (Prof. Chávez is familiarized with the main topics of the research and has applied to her social work practice the logics of empowerment process).

    Publisher Copyright:
    © 2019 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.


    • empowerment
    • multicase analysis
    • network analysis
    • psychological sense of community
    • social cohesion


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