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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(2), 195; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16020195

Underlying Dimensions of Social Cohesion in a Rural Community Affected by Wartime Violence in Colombia

1
Departamento de Psicología Social, Facultad de Psicología, Universidad de Sevilla, Calle Ramón y Cajal s/n, 41018 Sevilla, Spain
2
Grupo de Investigación CAVIDA, Escuela de Ciencias Sociales y Humanas, Universidad Pontificia Bolivariana, calle 63#6-58, Monteria 230017, Colombia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 26 November 2018 / Revised: 14 December 2018 / Accepted: 4 January 2019 / Published: 11 January 2019
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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. View Full-Text
Keywords: social cohesion; war; homophily; community participation; personal networks; community leadership; sense of community social cohesion; war; homophily; community participation; personal networks; community leadership; sense of community
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Ramos-Vidal, I.; Villamil, I.; Uribe, A. Underlying Dimensions of Social Cohesion in a Rural Community Affected by Wartime Violence in Colombia. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16, 195.

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