MA Community Psychology Theses


Social Capital and Intercultural Communication: Exploring Trust, Diversity, and Engagement in Neighborhoods

Date of Award


Document Type

Restricted Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Community Psychology, MA



First Advisor

Bryant Carlson


Social capital, intercultural sensitivity, and cultural communication confidence are integral components of living and interacting effectively in diverse environments. Neighborhoods and communities with high levels of social capital experience greater social cohesion, positive feelings about one’s neighbors, and a sense of belonging. Intercultural sensitivity and communication confidence help individuals living in diverse communities to communicate across cultural divides in mutually respectful ways. This study aimed to determine if levels of social capital, intercultural sensitivity, and intercultural communication apprehension differed between neighborhoods experiencing different phases of gentrification. The responses from 88 participants on the measures of social capital, intercultural sensitivity, and intercultural communication apprehension were analyzed. While the results of the analyses were not statistically significant, trends in relationships among the variables indicated that an increase in intercultural sensitivity showed an increase in intercultural communication apprehension. This finding contradicted current research between these variables and posed valuable questions about communicating in a socially and politically dynamic environment. Additionally, statistically significant correlations between demographic variables and intercultural communication apprehension and dimensions of social capital were found.

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