Underlying dimensions of social cohesion in a rural community affected by wartime violence in Colombia

Ignacio Ramos-Vidal, Ilse Villamil, Alicia Uribe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle in an indexed scientific journalpeer-review

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

War deteriorates the quality of life of the population and profoundly alters social dynamics. We discuss a rural community in northern Colombia whose population was the victim of a massacre and examine the main components that model social cohesion: (a) positive attitudes towards the community, (b) prosocial behaviours and (c) interpersonal relationships. This investigation is a cross-sectional empirical study that includes an analysis of social support networks. The research involved 106 residents, (81.1%, women), with an average age of 42.5 years (standard deviation (SD) = 16.4), who have lived in the community an average 28.8 years (SD = 18.75). Cluster analysis shows that there are two types of personal networks based on homophily and the duration of the ego-alter relationship. The networks that provide the most types of social support shows a moderate level of homophily according to the type of relationship and place of origin and in which the duration of the ego-alter relationship is shorter, compared to networks characterized by high homophily and in which the duration of the ego-alter relationship is longer (χ2 = 5.609, p < 0.018). Homophily based on place of residence actively affects the sense of community and social cohesion. Moreover, the sense of community is the variable that most affects social cohesion (β = 0.650; p < 0.001) and is, in turn, determined by prosocial behaviour (β = 0.267; p < 0.006). However, prosocial behaviours do not significantly affect interpersonal relationships or community cohesion. The results are discussed to promote social development strategies aimed at building individual, organizational and community capacity to foster psychosocial well-being in post-war contexts.

Original languageEnglish
Article number195
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Volume16
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 2 Jan 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.

Keywords

  • Community leadership
  • Community participation
  • Homophily
  • Personal networks
  • Sense of community
  • Social cohesion
  • War

Types Minciencias

  • Artículos de investigación con calidad A2 / Q2

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