Minority Health Archive

What Is Community? An Evidence-Based Definition for Participatory Public Health

MacQueen, Kathleen M. and McLellan, Eleanor and Metzger, David S. and Kegeles, Susan and Strauss, Ronald P. and Scotti, Roseanne and Blanchard, Lynn and Trotter, Robert T. (2001) What Is Community? An Evidence-Based Definition for Participatory Public Health. American Journal of Public Health, 91 (12). pp. 1929-1938. ISSN 0090-0036

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Increased emphasis on community collaboration indicates the need for consensus regarding the definition of community within public health.This study examined whether members of diverse US communities described community in similar ways. To identify strategies to support community collaboration in HIV vaccine trials, qualitative interviews were conducted with 25 African Americans in Durham, NC; 26 gay men in San Francisco, Calif; 25 injection drug users in Philadelphia, Pa; and 42 HIV vaccine researchers across the United States.Verbatim responses to the question “What does the word community mean to you?” were analyzed. Cluster analysis was used to identify similarities in the way community was described. A common definition of community emerged as a group of people with diverse characteristics who are linked by social ties, share common perspectives, and engage in joint action in geographical locations or settings.The participants differed in the emphasis they placed on particular elements of the definition. Community was defined similarly but experienced differently by people with diverse backgrounds.These results parallel similar social science findings and confirm the viability of a common definition for participatory public health.

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Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This article is available at the publisher’s Web site. Access to the full text is subject to the publisher’s access restrictions.
Uncontrolled Keywords: community collaboration; social ties; share common perspectives; joint action
Subjects: Health > Public Health
Research > studies
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Depositing User: Users 141 not found.
Date Deposited: 03 Oct 2008
Last Modified: 08 Jul 2011 11:02
Link to this item (URI): http://health-equity.lib.umd.edu/id/eprint/1041

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