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Community Psychology

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Nikka Rain

on 26 May 2015

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Transcript of Community Psychology


Respect for Human Diversity
Social Justice
Values in Context
The Development
& Practice of Community Psychology

Focus on individual and community strengths.
Distinct from more deficit-focused fields of psychology (e.g., clinical).

Empirical Grounding
Fair, equitable allocation of resources, opportunities, and power in a society as a whole.



Citizen Participation
Research and Action
Structural Perspectives
Ecological Levels of Analysis
Shows multiple causes and multiple solutions to problems.

Describes interactions between individuals and the multiple social systems in which they are embedded.

Individual and family wellness

Sense of community

Respect for human diversity

Social justice

Empowerment and citizen participation

Collaboration and community strengths

Empirical grounding

Individual and Family Wellness
Levels of Analysis
Error of Logical Typing
Levels of Intervention
Community Psychology's
Interventions can work between levels with
mediating structures

What is

Community Psychology
Shift in Perspective
Problem Definition
Community Psychology emphasizes the importance of the relationship between persons and contexts.

Structural forces that shape the lives of individuals

What is Community Psychology
Some grouping of individuals, either through shared endeavors, shared locality, or some other type of linkage.

Traditionally focused on the
(e.g., behavior, personality, development, etc.), or the influence of the immediate family on those aspects of the individual

Context Minimization Error
Focus is on how those community-level forces impact the functioning of all individuals and families in the community

Shift from focusing only on individuals to considering how individuals, communities, and societies are interconnected.

Individualistic Perspective:
People become homeless because of some individual-level factor (e.g., mental illness).
Context is not important.

Ecological/Structural Perspective:
Individual-level variables may influence who gets a “chair,” but not the number of chairs available.
Context is very important.

The questions we ask

The methods we use to answer those questions

The way we interpret those answers
Determines the
we consider.
Concerns the
of individuals with organizations, communities, and societies.

Focuses not on the individual or community alone but on their

Community Psychology as a Linking Science & Linking Practice
Factors Influencing the Emergence of Community Psychology
Factor 1: Prevention
Factor 3: Group Dynamics and Action Research
Ignoring or discounting the importance of contexts in an individual's life.
Link levels of analysis
Link action and research
Link different stakeholders
Link problem definition and approaches to interventions.

Community Psychology represents both a reaction to the limitations of mainstream psychology & an extension of it.
Many WWII veterans returned home with symptoms of traumatic stress:
Veterans Administration created
National Institute of Mental Health created.
Passage of Community Mental Health Centers Act in 1963:
Inclusion of prevention efforts in the model
Community Psychology Developing Identity:
Factor 4: Social Change and Libertion
Factor 5: Optimism about Social Change
Where Community Psychology is Today

Assures rules of fairness in competition for economic, educational, or social advancement.
produce and market all by oneself
Framing Question
Shift in Perspective
Homelessness as Musical Chairs
Shift in Perspective
Homelessness as Musical Chairs
Persons, Contexts, and Change
Community Psychology
Integrates research and action to
and enhance
quality of life

for individuals, communities, and societies.

Community Psychology
Guided by core values (discussed later).

Uses interdisciplinary methods and collaborations.

Community Psychology
Committed to developing valid psychological knowledge that is useful in community life.

Expects reciprocity between research and social action.

In the Community Psychology perspective, knowledge is constructed through action.

Role as Participant-Conceptualizer

First-order change alters, rearranges, or replaces the individual members of a group.

Second-order change affects the relationships among the members of a group, especially shared goals, roles, rules, and power relationships.
Transformational Change
Bronfenbrenner (1979) promoted concept of a model of interlocking circles, demonstrating the overlapping sources of influence on the individual

Community Psychology uses similar idea, but focuses on the community, not just the individual.

Mass Media
Belief Systems
Social Movements
Rural Areas
Local Businesses
Labor Groups
Religious Congregations
Community Coalitions

Engage multiple levels simultaneously.

Interventions can build individual capacity to address problems
Level of Analysis
Environments where individuals repeatedly
engages in direct personal interaction

Potential source of support or stress.

Traditional Psychology
Community Psychology
Level of Analysis
Level of Analysis
Settings that have a formal structure (e.g., mission, bylaws, policies).

Vary in the amount of resources.

Level of Analysis
Geographic communities.

Consist of many organizational entities working to define and address problems.

Level of Anaysis

Geographic communities.

Consist of many organizational entities working to define and address problems.

Ecological Level of Analysis
Can clarify the differing values, goals, and strategies for interventions at each level.
Settings that can assist individuals coping with society’s stressors.

7 Core Values
Guides Research and Action
Physical and psychological health, including personal well-being and attainment of personal goals.

Collective Wellness
Health and wellness of communities and societies.

Sense of Community
Sense of community (Sarason, 1974)
Refers to a perception of belongingness, interdependence, and mutual commitment that links individuals in a collective unity.

Not always positive:
"Insiders" vs. "Outsiders"

Required for understanding individuals-in-communities.

Community work requires:

Appreciating community strengths and resources.
Using culturally-anchored research methods.

Distributive justice

Fair allocation of resources.

Procedural Justice
Whether processes of collective decision making include a fair representation of citizens.

Enhancing opportunities for people to control their own lives, both individually and collectively.

Democratic decision-making processes that allow all members of a community to have meaningful involvement in decisions affecting the community.

Establish collaborative relationships with communities.
Avoid typical roles of expert (psychologist) and layperson (community member).

Community Strengths
Integration of research into community action by basing action on empirical research findings whenever possible.

Qualitative and Quantitative
Value meanings may vary between people, communities, and contexts.

Values in Context
Requires accommodations among values rather than single-minded pursuit of one or two.

Individual and family wellness

Sense of community

Respect for human diversity

Social justice

Empowerment and citizen participation

Collaboration and community strengths

Empirical grounding

Sought to work with tools beyond the individual level.

Expansion of psychology beyond Western culture; incorporated cultural and social contexts.
Community Psychology
Prevention perspective on programs in living.

Reforms in mental health systems.

Group dynamics and action research.

Movements for social change and liberation.

Optimism regarding social change.
Dissatisfaction with the medical model of care.

Recognition of importance of environmental factors in problems of living.
Factor 2: Reforms in the Mental Health Sytem
Kurt Lewin emphasized integration of social action and research.

Studied group dynamics and how they could be used to address social and community problems.
Civil rights, feminist, antipoverty movments paralleled Community Psychology values.

Common threads of challenging unequal power relationships

Linking local and national action.
1965 Great Society Programs
War on Poverty
Head Start, Job training & employment.
Faith in social sciences to aid in social change.
social stress
with action research toward community interventions.
Critiques individualist thinking about social problems.

has since been overused.

Levels of analysis
has been under-used.

Community Psychology Developing Identity:
Fair Play

Focuses on fairness of procedure and minimizing extreme outcome inequalities.
Fair Shares
Community Psychology Developing Identity
Bottom-up Approaches
Originate at grassroots level, among citizens.
Values perspectiveof people most affected by a problem
Top-down Approaches
Designed by professional or community leaders.
Community Psychology Developing Identity
Divergent Reasoning:
Identifying multiple truths in opposing perspectives.
Recognizing that conflicting viewpoints may usefully coexist.
Resisting easy answers
Views conflict as a path to knowledge.
Taking action at the wrong level of analysis.
Full transcript