The concepts of ‘community belonging’ can be broadly defined and understood. Diverse interpretations of the term ‘community’ – in terms of geography, identity, or shared interest and goal – may potentially affect the measurement of the ‘sense of community belonging’ indicator. Additionally, people who use virtual social networking tools such as Facebook may have a different notion of community compared to people who do not use these tools. Also, as community belonging intersects a number of other concepts, it can be further understood using measurements such as social capital, social support, social networks, social ties, and social exclusion among others.
Current Canadian data are cross-sectional (measured at a single point in time), rather than longitudinal in nature (measured at multiple points over time) making it challenging to determine if health influences women’s and men’s sense of community belonging or if sense of community belonging influences one’s health .
Since self-perceived health is measured via self-report, psychological factors may influence people’s perceptions . Because of this, it is difficult to determine the extent to which physical and mental factors contribute to the association between health and community belonging . More data are needed to understand which factors influence women’s perception of community belonging and how women’s perception of belonging are related to their health.