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Sense of belonging and indicators of social and psychological functioning

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      Sense of belonging has recently been described and defined as one specific interpersonal process that influences health. The purpose of this study was to examine the relationships between sense of belonging and personal characteristics and selected indicators of social and psychological functioning in men and women. Using a sample of 379 community college students, sense of belonging was examined in relation to social support, conflict, involvement in community activities, attendance at religious services, loneliness, depression, anxiety, history of psychiatric treatment, and suicidality. Results indicated that sense of belonging is closely related to indicators of both social and psychological functioning. These relationships were generally stronger for women than for men. It appears that sense of belonging is a useful concept pertinent to exploration of social and psychological functioning.
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