Objective: To explore the characteristics of participants in resident action groups in metropolitan Sydney. Methods: A stratified random sample of participants in 50 groups registered with local councils were surveyed in 1997. Demographic, social/psychological, cost/benefit, group process and group potency variables and four measures of amount of participation were examined. Results: An increase in the hours of participation per month was associated with a decrease in the self-reported costs of participation, an increase in the self-reported benefits of participation and an increase in group potency. Involvement in a greater number of activities was associated with a decrease in the self-reported costs and an increase in the self-reported benefits associated with participation, increased satisfaction with group processes, a decrease in group potency and an increase in the number of members known prior to group membership. Length of group membership was positively associated with age and more positive expectations of the group's future success. An increase in the proportion of meetings attended was associated with self-reported satisfaction with group processes. Conclusions and implications: An important principle of public health is community participation. The results of this study indicate that the greatest potential for increasing individual participation may be in efforts to reduce the costs associated with participation, increase the benefits associated with participation and increase the satisfaction of group members with group processes.
|Number of pages||5|
|Journal||Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health|
|Publication status||Published - 1 Dec 1999|