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Keywords

Social network ties, donated social support, volunteering, participation, mobility, neighborhood tenure, social capital

Abstract

Understanding what facilitates participation in neighborhood civic life is important for improving participatory interventions, and ultimately improving neighborhoods. The longer someone lives in a neighborhood, the more likely they are to participate in their neighborhood by organizing with neighbors, volunteering, or taking on a leadership role in a neighborhood organization. At the same time, the longer someone lives in a socioeconomically disadvantaged neighborhood, the more social ties they develop, which may increase social obligations. The present study examines whether helping friends and family (i.e., donated social support) is a barrier to neighborhood participation. Data come from the Anne E. Casey Foundation’s longitudinal Making Connections survey of low- and moderate-income communities. Providing more donated social support is associated with more neighborhood participation, controlling for tenure. Results suggest that efforts aimed at increasing household stability may facilitate neighborhood participation.

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