Social Trust

This tool represents “the respondent’s opinion about the degree to which he/she can trust people and members of his/her community, including the local police” (p. 12,

This tool measures attitudes, not behaviors.

This tool has been adapted from the National Evaluation of Youth Corps: Findings at Follow-up.  This is a national study of Youth Corps programs receiving federal funding from the Corporation for National and Community Service.  The study was conducted as a random control trial.  The items in this tool were part of the survey used in that study which collected information from applicants to the program (2006-07) before random assignment, and 18 months after random assignment.  The Youth Corps members on which this tool was tested were both male and female, were primarily 18-25 years old, typically had a high school diploma or less, had generally not served in the military, were mostly single, typically had worked for pay in the last 12 months, and tended to have lived in their community five or more years.  The study tested for differences among subpopulations, but found none. The National Evaluation did not find any statistically significant impacts on education, employment, or civic engagement, but the survey constructs created to measure changes are considered valid.


Creator(s) of Tool
Price, C., Williams, J., Simpson, L., Jastrzab, J., and Markovitz, C. (2011). National Evaluation of Youth Corps: Findings at Follow-up. Prepared for the Corporation for National and Community Service. Cambridge, MA: Abt Associates Inc.
Scoring / Benchmarking
This tool would be administered as a pre-test (before the person participates in the program) and as a post-test (follow up after participating in the program).

Higher scores indicate that individuals feel a greater sense of trust. Score each item on a scale of 1 to 5 as follows:

Strongly Agree = 5
Agree = 4
Neither Agree Nor Disagree = 3
Disagree = 2
Strongly Disagree = 1

Program administrators would score each item, and calculate a total score. There are two ways that the program administrators can use the scores. First, they could look at the overall score to see how that improves from the first time the individual filled out the assessment to the most recent assessment. Second, they could look at improvements in the scores of particular items between the first time the individual filled out the assessment to the most recent assessment.

Improving Service Delivery Tip!
The second way provides three avenues for improving service delivery. First, it has the advantage of being able to see where the program seems to be making the most difference for individuals. Second, it will also allow program administrators to see if participants ever indicate becoming “less likely” to engage in a particular activity after participating in the program. Third, examining the scores on the pre-test can provide an indication if the targeted children/youth are enrolling in the program. Children/youth must score at a pre-test level that provides room for improvement. If the children/youth score high at pre-test, it indicates that they might not benefit from the program activities. This could trigger a review of recruitment and enrollment strategies, or a review of what the program hopes to accomplish.
Background / Quality
Cronbach’s Alpha 0.60
Is there a cost associated with this tool?
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