Internet connectivity, community participation, and place attachment: A longitudinal study

Gustavo S. Mesch, Ilan Talmud

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

62 Scopus citations


The effect of Internet connectivity on social involvement, civic participation, and community sentiments has recently received research attention. Mostly, previous studies have been limited in that they did not account for the mechanism that might link Internet connectivity and community participation.This study uses a longitudinal design to examine the effects of Internet connectivity and participation in a local electronic bulletin board on local community involvement and participation. It is hypothesized that Internet connectivity affects community involvement and positive sentiments attached to the locale. Data from a longitudinal survey of two suburban communities in Israel are used to test the hypothesis. The results show that Internet connectivity and attitudes toward technology provide more channels for local civic participation. But, it is the active participation in locally based electronic forums over and above other forms of social capital (such as face-to-face neighborhood meetings, talking with friends, and membership in local organizations) that is associated with multiple measures of community participation. The formation and active participation in local community electronic networks not only adds but also amplifies civic participation and elevated sense of community attachment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1095-1110
Number of pages16
JournalAmerican Behavioral Scientist
Issue number8
StatePublished - Apr 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Civic engagement
  • Community involvement
  • Internet studies
  • Place attachment
  • Political participation


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