by GT Kyle, J Jun, JD Absher
Environment and Behavior 46(8): 1018-10432014
The term place attachment is a common concept that is usually taken to mean the bonds between people and the environment. However, the authors question whether previous research findings were grounded in theory. For this paper, the researchers adapted identity theory and repositioned identity in the conceptualization of human-place bonding. A modified casual structure of place attachment was proposed, in which the cognitive component (place identity) preceded other affective and conative facets: place dependence, affective attachment, and social bonding. This modified theory was tested in two wildland-urban interface communities in Southern California, Los Angeles and San Diego. Analysis of both datasets demonstrated strong support for the study’s reconceptualization of the place attachment construct and its associated measures. All significant relationships showed that place identity positively predicted all measures: affective, place dependence, and social bonding. The investigation’s overall results suggest identification processes are a motivator of other affective and conative elements.