Keywords: Sense of Community; Quality of Participation; Social Well-being; Adolescents; Young Adults.
Positive effects of social participation of adolescents and youths are often emphasized even without clear evidences about the mediating psychosocial processes. The aim of this study was to verify if sense of community (SoC) can mediate the relationship between participation variables (involvement in organized groups; quality of participation-reflection, quality of participation-action) and social well-being. 801 adolescents and young adults (48.9% males, 51.1% females; mean age: 20.74 years) completed a self-reported questionnaire. Results show that SoC (dimensions: influence, emotional connection in the community) is a partial mediator between participation and social well-being; when the quality of participation (in terms of opportunities for reflection) is considered, also needs satisfaction is a significant mediator. The discussion stresses the usefulness of quality experiences in participatory contexts, with the goal of increasing the social well-being following SoC development.