Community psychology

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Community Psychology makes use of various perspectives within and outside of Psychology to address issues of communities, the relationships within them, and people's attitudes about them. Through collaborative research and action, community psychologists (practitioners and researchers) seek to understand and to enhance quality of life for individuals, communities, and society. Community psychology takes a public health approach and focuses on prevention and early intervention as a means to solve problems in addition to treatment. Closely related disciplines include Social Psychology, Political Science, and Community development.

In the U.S., Community Psychology is division 27 of the American Psychological Association, represented by the Society for Community Research & Action (SCRA). Their official description is as follows:

The Division of Community Psychology encourages the development of theory, research, and practice relevant to the reciprocal relationships between individuals and the social system which constitute the community context. The Division supports 23 regional groups promoting communication among community psychologists in six U.S. regions, Canada, Western Europe, and the South Pacific. The Division hosts a three day biennial conference and has formed interest groups in the areas of international community psychology, rural psychology, aging, applied settings, and children and youth (prevention issues). Members receive the bimonthly American Journal of Community Psychology and The Community Psychologist, published five times per year.

Community Psychology found a proposed "conceptual center" in the idea of Psychological Sense of Community (or simply Sense of Community), introduced in 1974 by Seymour Sarason. In 1986 a major step was taken by theoretician David McMillan and operationalizer David Chavis with the publication of their Theory of Sense of Community and Sense of Community Index. Originally designed primarily in reference to neighborhoods, the Sense of Community Index (SCI) can be adapted to study other communities as well, including the workplace, schools, religious communities, communities of interest, etc.


[edit] References

  • Chavis, D.M., & Wandersman, A. (1990). Sense of community in the urban environment: A catalyst for participation and community development. American Journal of Community Psychology, 18(1), 55-81.
  • McMillan, D.W., & Chavis, D.M. (1986). Sense of community: A definition and theory. American Journal of Community Psychology, 14(1), 6-23.
  • Sarason, S.B. (1974). The psychological sense of community: Prospects for a community psychology. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

[edit] Peer-reviewed journals

  • Journal of Community Psychology
  • American Journal of Community Psychology
  • Community Mental Health Journal
  • Others

[edit] See also


[edit] External links

Community psychology

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