People build their sense of well-being by responding to their objectively defined environment. The community environment and more specifically the neighborhood affects the subjective and psychological well being of the individuals. Neighboring refers to the residents’ social interaction and mutual material and non material support. This chapter attempts to examine how the social, political, and economic aspect of community life is related to community well-being focusing on community satisfaction, informal social interaction, feeling safe, the residents’ involvement in the community decision making process, the economic life, and the job opportunities and training of 705 participants in six European cultural settings: Dingle Partnership Area (DPA), Liverpool, United Kingdom; Bournazi, Athens, Greece; Westside, Galway, Ireland; Plateia Eleftherias, Patras, Greece; Knocknaheeny, Cork, Ireland; and Kontopefko, Athens, Greece. The overall picture as emerged by one-way analyses of variance and a posteriori Scheffé comparisons employed is defined by the clear statistical differences regarding the informal social interaction, community services satisfaction and income sufficiency and the more homogeneous conditions regarding the residents’ feeling of safety, their involvement in the community decision making process and their job/training opportunities in the community. The neighborhood contextual effects on individuals’ behavior and affect are complicated and ask for an integrated approach, as population stability and coherence as well as opportunities for interaction need to be addressed too.
Author, F. M. (2009). Title of chapter. In A. Gari & K. Mylonas (Eds.), Quod Erat Demonstrandum: From Herodotus’ ethnographic journeys to cross-cultural research: Proceedings from the 19th International Congress of the International Association for Cross-Cultural Psychology, (paper number). (URL)