Individual and community-related paths to civic engagement: A multiple mediation model deepening the role of sense of responsible togetherness, community trust, and hope


Civic engagement behaviors (CEB) refer to the activation of citizens’ resources to face community problems. However, modern local communities are characterized by lower rates of civic engagement, especially among youths. Therefore, this study deepens the role of some individual and community-related assets which could foster citizens’ CEB. It specifically addresses two research questions: (a) which are the social roots of citizens’ feelings of Hope, and (b) what role citizens’ Sense of Responsible Togetherness (SoRT), Community Trust, and Hope play as to their CEB. An online questionnaire was administered to 486 Italian citizens aged between 18 and 30. A multiple mediation model was run with Structural Equation Modelling to test the role of Hope as a mediator in the relationships of SoRT and Community Trust with CEB. The results confirmed all the hypotheses, supporting both (a) the social roots of Hope and (b) its role as a mediator in the considered relationships between community-related assets and CEB. Overall, relying on positive representations of how to live together in one’s community and how the latter is able to meet its members’ needs showed a critical role as to citizens’ civic engagement, both directly and via an enhanced feeling of Hope. This provides Institutions and stakeholders with hints about the dimensions of communities to be fostered and strengthened in order to counteract the pessimistic visions and the lack of civic engagement now characterizing them.

DOI Code: 10.1285/i24212113v9i1p64

Keywords: Civic Engagement; Hope; Sense of Responsible Togetherness (SoRT); Community Trust; local community


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