Abstract

Most scholars have refuted the notion that a region as diverse as Appalachia can have one unifying identity. Despite the challenges to measuring Appalachian identity, we maintain that this work is critical to understanding the influence that identity has on both the individual and the community. This study uses data from a 2016 study of women in Central, South Central, and Southern Appalachia. In this research, we examine the modification of the Multidimensional Inventory of Black Identity (MIBI) for use among Appalachian populations as a more complete measure of identity, finding that the overall seventeen-item Appalachian identity scale is highly reliable with a Cronbach’s alpha of .879. All three subscales—centrality, public regard, and private regard—had highly reliable Cronbach’s alpha scores. Much like the original MIBI, this modified scale appears to be a reliable measure of Appalachian identity. In addition, the subscales allow nuance in analysis that is not available by utilizing only one variable. We put this work forward in hopes that other researchers will be able to integrate it into their research and open new avenues of understanding with regard to the impact that identifying as an Appalachian may have on one’s health, wellness, and quality of life.

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