Lamm, K. W., Borron, A., & Atkins, K. (2020). The community diagnostics and social impact toolkit: Development and validation of a reliable measure. Journal of Agricultural Education, 61(4), 249-265. http://doi.org/10.5032/jae.2020.04249
Although there are questions concerning the extent of the problems facing rural Americans, there is
considerable evidence that many nonmetropolitan communities are facing a multitude of serious
challenges. These issues do not exist as distinct and unrelated problems. For instance, one cannot focus
exclusively on depopulation without also confronting economic decline and lack of employment
opportunities, deteriorating social bonds, cultural atrophy, decaying infrastructure, and so on. Rural
communities are systems in which each problem is linked, and managing these issues requires a holistic
approach. Despite the need for robust diagnostic tools to support agricultural educators to work with
communities there has been a notable gap in empirical tools to do so. The purpose of the study was to
develop and validate an instrument to gauge community perceptions according to the Community
Capitals Framework. The results of the study found the proposed instrument demonstrated content,
response process, and internal structure validity based on a pilot of six counties in Georgia.
Furthermore, the scale demonstrated initial consequential validity based on county level comparisons
and statistically significant observed differences.