, Volume 7, Issue 2, pp 103-125

Neighborhood naming as an index of attachment to place

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One aspect of attachment to place may relate to neighborhood naming. That is, recent investigations have found that in many communities large numbers of residents can supply locality labels. The most recent studies, however, have failed to confirm the importance of local social involvement as a predictor of naming. Following the earlier suggestion of Shumaker and Taylor (1983) that attachment dynamics can operate at the group level, we focus on small, local groups by analyzing street blocks. Results support our hypothesis that groups with more shared local ties are more able to supply a neighborhood name. This relationship was also obtained when we examined purely individual-level covariation. Results underscore the multilevel nature of attachment processes and how they are both social and psychological in nature. Links between cognitive and affective components of attachment and practical outcomes such as local problem solving are discussed.

An earlier version of this research was presented at the annual meeting of the American Psychological Association, Washington, D.C., August 1982. The authors are indebted to Patty Nevin O'Brien for extensive programming assistance. Data described here were gathered under grant 78-NI-AX-0134 from the National Institute of Justice. Opinions expressed are solely those of the authors. Two anonymous reviewers provided helpful comments on an earlier draft of the manuscript. Request reprints from Ralph B. Taylor, Department of Criminal Justice, Gladfelter Hall, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA 19122.