The Neighbourhood Cohesion Index (NCI) is a popular scale used to measure social capital and cohesion at the neighbourhood level. Despite its prevalent use, discrepancies exist with regard to the factor structure of the scale. We explore a two- versus three-factor conceptualization of the NCI by comparing results of confirmatory factor analysis and exploratory structural equation modelling (ESEM) for each model among a representative sample of adults (n=798) in the Greater Phoenix Metropolitan Area (AS, USA). The ESEM three-factor model with the subscales of attraction, neighbouring, and sense of community was the best model fit. This three-factor model proved to be invariant across age, gender, health, and race within our sample. Given the need to determine consistent definitions and measurement of social capital and cohesion, these findings strengthen and support the use of the NCI as an instrument to measure attraction, neighbouring, and sense of community within neighbourhoods.
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