American Sociological Association

Reconsidering Collective Efficacy: The Roles of Perceptions of Community and Strong Social Ties

Collective efficacy is an often‐studied concept, yet theoretical differences and confusing terminology lead to an inability to translate the concept across disciplines. Utilizing a nationally representative sample, this study employs structural equation modeling combined with a series of hierarchical models to test the hypotheses that the focal independent variables of neighborhood perceptions, strong social ties, and civic engagement as a proxy for weak social ties are each positively associated with collective efficacy while controlling for sociodemographic characteristics. Findings show that all the focal independent variables were positively associated with collective efficacy. The full model accounts for nearly half the variance in collective efficacy. These results support other, recent research findings that the collective efficacy measure is more highly associated with respondent perceptions of the community and strong social ties than originally theorized.


Jason T. Carbone and Stephen Edward McMillin





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