The influence of homeownership and mobility on civic engagement among low-to-moderate income households Public Deposited

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  • March 22, 2019
  • Paik, Jong-Gyu
    • Affiliation: School of Social Work
  • Homeownership is much more than a financial calculation. It is a socio-psychological phenomenon. Homeownership is also culturally embedded. Homeownership in the United States has historically been viewed as a fundamental aspect of the 'American Dream.' During the last decade studies of homeownership have demonstrated a positive link between homeownership and positive social outcomes including civic participation and volunteering. This study compared civic engagement outcomes between homeowners and renters in the Community Advantage Panel Survey (CAPS) using data collected in 2004 and repeated in 2007. The study analyzed five dichotomous outcomes of formal participation in organizations and one continuous outcome: volunteering hours. Five variables indicating formal participation included: (1) neighborhood or block associations; (2) other volunteering or charitable groups; (3) (other than attending services) church or religious association; (4) PTA or school related organizations; and (5) participation in any of groups listed above. The remaining dependent variable is volunteering hours which was measured by the total number of hours per month served by all respondents for all organizations. This study acknowledged bias arising from selection on observables and item-non-response throughout the analyses. To control these biases, this study employed analytical approaches including the treatment effect model, a bivariate probit model and finally the Heckman selection model. Results of this study confirmed that attainment of homeownership is not possible for everyone. Findings from this study have provided some evidence that low-income homeowners are more likely to be involved in some types of civic engagement than renters. The relationship between homeownership and hours of volunteering was not significant when participation in civic engagement was correctly controlled for. In this study, the homeownership effect was hypothesized to interact with the lower mobility of homeowners after controlling for the endogeneity of homeownership. On the contrary however, the results of multivariate statistical analyses employed in this study showed that measurements of mobility had little effect on civic engagement. Finally, issues relating to homeownership and civic engagement were discussed. Implications for social work practice and research were further discussed.
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  • In Copyright
  • "... in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in the School of Social Work."
  • Weil, Marie
Degree granting institution
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Place of publication
  • Chapel Hill, NC
  • Open access

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