Community Climate: Adapting Climate Theory to the Study of Communities

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


The goal of this chapter is to employ the concept of climate—often referenced in organizational psychology as a measure of organizations or their departments—in the analysis of communities. We propose that communities provide a new level of analysis for measurement and understanding of the climate concept. We review the literature on level of analysis in climate research and explain how community provides a new level for the measurement of climate that is not captured in the existing levels of analysis in climate research (department, organization). We discuss the process in which climate will emerge in communities and measurement/methodological issues that are relevant to the new level of analysis. We suggest several facets of climate that are relevant to community studies (road safety, participatory, political, education, homophobic, and adolescent violence) and propose a model that includes antecedents and consequences of community climate. Finally we propose ways in which climate can serve in community change efforts.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHandbooks of Sociology and Social Research
PublisherSpringer Science and Business Media B.V.
Number of pages19
StatePublished - 2018

Publication series

NameHandbooks of Sociology and Social Research
ISSN (Print)1389-6903
ISSN (Electronic)2542-839X

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018, Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature.


  • Climate level
  • Climate strength
  • Community climate
  • Organizational climate
  • Sense of community

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology (miscellaneous)
  • Social Psychology
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Sociology and Political Science


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