Social Connectedness in a community means that residents feel that they are part of a network of friends, family, and other neighbors, where trust, support, and social cohesion are abundant.
Social Connectedness & Latino Health
Social support and trust among community residents encourages health in many forms. Residents are more likely to be outdoors interacting with neighbors or walking in the community if they feel a connection to their neighbors. In communities where adults share close-knit relationships and serve as role models, youth may be less likely to engage in unhealthy behaviors such as smoking, using drugs, or engaging in gang-related behavior.
And neighborhood environmental factors— from economic opportunities to the physical environment to social connections among neighbors to supportive services—profoundly influence the health of residents. In 2007, we published Why Place Matters to examine how these environmental factors can be strengthened and enlivened to benefit the health of all communities. The report looked at the growing movement in California and around the nation to develop place-based solutions to place-based problems—particularly in low-income communities and communities of color, where residents are disproportionately burdened by harmful environmental factors and a long list of associated health risks.