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Impact of Community Capacity on the Health Status of Residents: Understanding With the Contextual Multilevel Model

Jung, Minsoo PhD, MPH; Choi, Mankyu PhD, MPH

doi: 10.1097/HCM.0b013e31827edaa7
Article

There has been little conceptual understanding as to how community capacity works, although it allows for an important, population-based health promotional strategy. In this study, the mechanism of community capacity was studied through literature reviews to suggest a comprehensive conceptual model. The research results found that the key to community capacity prevailed in how actively the capacities of individuals and their communities are able to interact with one another. Under active interactions, community-based organizations, which are a type of voluntary association, were created within the community, and cohesion among residents was enhanced. In addition, people were more willing to address community issues. During the process, many services were initiated to meet the people’s health needs and strengthen their social and psychological ties. The characteristics of community capacity were named as the contextual multilevel effects. Because an increase in community capacity contributes to a boosted health status, encourages health behaviors, and eventually leads to the overall prosperity of the community, more public health–related attention is required.

Author Affiliations: Center for Community-Based Research, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, and Department of Society, Human Development, and Health, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts (Dr Jung); and Department of Healthcare Management, Korea University (Dr Choi), Seoul, Republic of Korea.

The authors have no conflicts of interest.

Correspondence: Mankyu Choi, PhD, MPH, San 1, Jeongneung-Dong, Seongbuk-Gu, Seoul 136-703, Republic of Korea (minsoo_jung@dfci.harvard.edu).

© 2013 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.