Measuring sense of place: a new place-people-time-self model

Domingues, R.B., Gonçalves, G. & Jesus, S.N.

Many models of place attachment and sense of place have proliferated in the last decades,
and a consensus on the conceptualisation and operationalisation of these constructs is yet
to be reached. We aim to contribute to this discussion, by proposing a new model and
measurement of sense of place as an overarching construct, using exploratory and confirmator y
analyses. Results suggested that sense of place is a second-order factor with four first-order
factors: ‘place’, ‘people’, ‘time’, and ‘self’. The ‘place’ dimension integrates emotional
content associated with the place and can be loosely compared to the unidimensional place
attachment in other models. The ‘people’ dimension corresponds to the sense of community
construct, whereas the ‘time’ dimension reflects the importance of length of residence and
intergenerational transmission. Finally, the ‘self’ dimension is more internally focused than
the other dimensions, reflecting the role of the place for an individual’s distinctiveness and
self-esteem. Our 32-item Sense of Place Scale is thus a valid and reliable measure based on
a quadripartite structure of the sense of place construct.

9(3): 239-258

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