Purdue University Graduate School
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An examination of community attachment, place attachment, and black density as predictors of black subjective well-being in rural areas

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posted on 2020-04-24, 12:51 authored by Lexie L UnhjemLexie L Unhjem

Black Americans living in rural regions of the U.S. are an underserved and under-researched population in the mental health field. Health and wellness disparities in Black populations are consistently documented as far worse than in White populations. Yet, the effects of low density of Black people living in predominantly White rural communities is unknown to mental health professionals and researchers alike. This study aimed to fill gaps in the literature concerning effects of Black density and city population on community attachment, place attachment, and subjective well-being, as well as community and place attachment’s effects on subjective well-being. Using a secondary dataset titled Soul of the Community [in 26 Knight Foundation Communities in the United States] (Gallup International, Inc., 2009), it was discovered that Black density alone had no significant relationships with any other variables, but the interaction of Black density and city population negatively predicted place attachment. In addition, community and place attachment both positively predicted subjective well-being. These results indicate that where people live matters and has a significant impact on their attachment to their physical surroundings. In addition, one’s connection to community and place are vital contributors to subjective well-being. Clinical implications can be drawn from this study pointing to the importance of clinical awareness regarding rurality, racial density, and community and place attachment. Moreover, clinicians can assess for these factors in the therapy room and encourage clients to explore their own communities.


Degree Type

  • Master of Science


  • Child Development and Family Studies

Campus location

  • Hammond

Advisor/Supervisor/Committee Chair

David Nalbone

Additional Committee Member 2

Megan Murphy

Additional Committee Member 3

Michael Evan Thomas

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