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Journal of Aging Research
Volume 2012, Article ID 360254, 10 pages
Research Article

Is Collective Efficacy Age Graded? The Development and Evaluation of a New Measure of Collective Efficacy for Older Adults

1Center on the Demography and Economics of Aging, NORC and the University of Chicago, 1155 E. 60th Street, Chicago, IL 60637, USA
2Departments of Sociology and Health Studies, University of Chicago, 1155 E. 60th Street, Rm 238, Chicago, IL 60637, USA
3Department of Sociology, Ohio State University, 214 Townshend Hall, 1885 Neil Avenue Mall, Columbus, OH 43210, USA

Received 16 May 2011; Revised 7 October 2011; Accepted 27 November 2011

Academic Editor: Lindy Clemson

Copyright © 2012 Adena M. Galinsky et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Objectives. Community processes are key determinants of older adults’ ability to age in place, but existing scales measuring these constructs may not provide accurate, unbiased measurements among older adults because they were designed with the concerns of child-rearing respondents in mind. This study examines the properties of a new theory-based measure of collective efficacy (CE) that accounts for the perspectives of older residents. Methods. Data come from the population-based Chicago Neighborhood Organization, Aging and Health study (N = 1,151), which surveyed adults aged 65 to 95. Using descriptive statistics, correlations, and factor analysis, we explored the acceptability, reliability, and validity of the new measure. Results. Principal component analysis indicated that the new scale measures a single latent factor. It had good internal consistency reliability, was highly correlated with the original scale, and was similarly associated with neighborhood exchange and disorder, self-rated health, mobility, and loneliness. The new scale also showed less age-differentiated nonresponse compared to the original scale. Discussion. The older adult CE scale has reliability and validity equivalent to that of the existing measure but benefits from a more developed theoretical grounding and reduced likelihood of age-related differential nonresponse.