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American Journal of Community Psychology

Erin E Toolis
As economic inequality and segregation continue to grow in the U.S., psychology has an important role to play in exploring and promoting processes that can disrupt social injustice. This paper identifies the privatization of public space as a social problem that contributes to the entrenchment of social, economic, and racial inequality, and advances "critical placemaking" as a tool for reclaiming public space for public use. Drawing from key concepts in environmental psychology, narrative psychology, and community psychology, the proposed framework seeks to theorize the processes by which placemaking may contribute to transforming community narratives and building more inclusive, participatory, and democratic communities...
February 13, 2017: American Journal of Community Psychology
Bernadette Sánchez, Alison L Mroczkowski, Lynn C Liao, Adina C Cooper, Claudio Rivera, David L DuBois
The aim of this study was to examine the associations among mentoring relationship quality (i.e., relational and instrumental quality), racial discrimination and coping efficacy with racial discrimination. Three social support models were tested, including the stress buffering, support mobilization, and support deterioration models. Participants were 257 urban, low-income Latina/o high school students, who completed surveys in both 9th and 10th grades. While controlling for gender and coping efficacy with discrimination in 9th grade, results supported the social support deterioration model...
February 11, 2017: American Journal of Community Psychology
Terri Friedline, Stacia West, Nehemiah Rosell, Joyce Serido, Soyeon Shim
This study examines the extent of emergent, outstanding credit card debt among young adult college students and investigates whether any associations existed between this credit card debt and the characteristics of the communities in which these students grew up or lived. Using data (N = 748) from a longitudinal survey and merging community characteristics measured at the zip code level, we confirmed that a community's unemployment rate, average total debt, average credit score, and number of bank branch offices were associated with a young adult college student's acquisition and accumulation of credit card debt...
January 31, 2017: American Journal of Community Psychology
Geoffrey Nelson, Rachel Caplan, Timothy MacLeod, Eric Macnaughton, Rebecca Cherner, Tim Aubry, Christian Méthot, Eric Latimer, Myra Piat, Erin Plenert, Scott McCullough, Sarah Zell, Michelle Patterson, Vicky Stergiopoulos, Paula Goering
This research examined the sustainability of Canada's At Home/Chez Soi Housing First (HF) programs for homeless persons with mental illness 2 years after the end of the demonstration phase of a large (more than 2000 participants enrolled), five-site, randomized controlled trial. Qualitative interviews were conducted with 142 participants (key informants, HF staff, and persons with lived experience) to understand sustainability outcomes and factors that influenced those outcomes. Also, a self-report HF fidelity measure was completed for nine HF programs that continued after the demonstration project...
January 30, 2017: American Journal of Community Psychology
Bethany Devenish, Merrilyn Hooley, David Mellor
Socioeconomic status (SES) is a significant risk factor for negative adolescent development outcomes. Identifying the pathways between SES and these outcomes may inform interventions for adolescents from this demographic. We conducted a systematic literature review of eight databases for studies investigating pathways between SES and adolescent psychosocial outcomes. A total of 59 articles met inclusion criteria. Significant risk factors identified include economic stress, chaos in the home, and violence in the community...
January 27, 2017: American Journal of Community Psychology
Marybeth Shinn, Scott R Brown, Daniel Gubits
Family break-up is common in families experiencing homelessness. This paper examines the extent of separations of children from parents and of partners from each other and whether housing and service interventions reduced separations and their precursors among 1857 families across 12 sites who participated in the Family Options Study. Families in shelters were randomized to offers of one of three interventions: permanent housing subsidies that reduce expenditures for rent to 30% of families' income, temporary rapid re-housing subsidies with some services directed at housing and employment, and transitional housing in supervised facilities with extensive psychosocial services...
December 24, 2016: American Journal of Community Psychology
Kurt C Organista, Samantha Ngo, Torsten B Neilands, Alex H Kral
The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between typically difficult living conditions and psychological distress in Latino migrant day laborers (LMDLs), with attention to the potentially protective roles of contact with family in country of origin (i.e., communication, sending money, etc.), availability of local culture (i.e., food, music, people from one's country of origin), and utilization of community resources perceived to be culturally competent (i.e., services that are respectful, able to serve Latinos, able to solve problems, in Spanish, etc...
December 20, 2016: American Journal of Community Psychology
Margaret C Elliott, Elizabeth A Shuey, Natalya Zaika, Lauren Mims, Tama Leventhal
Many low-income Latina adolescent mothers face instability in their housing circumstances, which has implications for their long-term prospects and that of their children. This study used longitudinal, ethnographic data from Welfare, Children, and Families: A Three City Study to explore experiences of low-income, Latina adolescent mothers (N = 15) with unstable housing who primarily rely on their families or the families of their significant others for housing support. Results of analysis employing grounded theory and narrative approaches suggested two types of instability: "Horizontal moves" between family homes and "vertical moves" between family homes and independent living...
December 20, 2016: American Journal of Community Psychology
Parissa J Ballard, Alison K Cohen, Joshua Littenberg-Tobias
Using both quantitative and qualitative data, this study examined the effect of participating in an action civics intervention, Generation Citizen (GC), on civic commitment, civic self-efficacy, and two forms of civic knowledge. The sample consisted of 617 middle and high schools students in 55 classrooms who participated, or were soon to participate, in Generation Citizen. Hierarchical linear models revealed that participating in Generation Citizen was associated with positive gains in action civics knowledge and civic self-efficacy...
December 2016: American Journal of Community Psychology
Jacob Kraemer Tebes
This special issue commemorates the 50th anniversary of the founding of U.S. community psychology in Swampscott, Massachusetts in 1965. The issue includes commentaries from a cross-section of community psychologists educated in community psychology training programs established after Swampscott, in the 1970s or later. The contributors, who vary in their involvement in community-engaged research, training, and practice, offer a diverse set of perspectives on the field. Each was asked to reflect on the future of community psychology based on their own training and experiences...
December 2016: American Journal of Community Psychology
Daniel T O'Brien
Research on collective efficacy in urban neighborhoods has focused predominantly on whether a community can regulate local behavior and spaces and less on how they do so. This study pursues the latter question by examining the social regularities that create collective efficacy, measured as the behavioral composition of a neighborhood (i.e., the extent to which each individual contributes to a social regularity). This perspective is applied to the database of requests for non-emergency government services received by Boston, MA's 311 system in 2011 (>160,000 requests)...
December 2016: American Journal of Community Psychology
Dina Birman
In this paper I describe a community psychology perspective on acculturation and adjustment of immigrants and refugees and suggest that this field of acculturation research has in turn something to offer heuristically as we consider our identity and training for future generations of community psychologists over the next 50 years. I suggest that honoring our heritage, maintaining our disciplinary identity as community psychologists, and sustaining doctoral programs that offer training specific to community psychology are crucial for our survival as a field and is not antithetical to, and is indeed necessary for, interdisciplinary collaborations...
December 2016: American Journal of Community Psychology
Gary W Harper, April Timmons Tyler, Douglas Bruce, Louis Graham, Ryan M Wade
Black gay and bisexual young men carry a disproportionate burden of HIV in the United States. This study explored Black gay and bisexual young men living with HIV's identification and interpretation of race-specific cultural messages regarding substance use, sexual activity, and condom use. A total of 36 Black gay and bisexual young men living with HIV (ages 16-24, mean = 20.6 years) from four geographically diverse regions of the United States participated in qualitative in-depth interviews. Results from this study elucidate the ways in which these young men interpret various forms of race-specific cultural messages and experiences regarding substance use, sexual activity, and condom use...
December 2016: American Journal of Community Psychology
Joy S Kaufman, Christian M Connell, Cindy A Crusto, Derrick M Gordon, Carolyn E Sartor, Patricia Simon, Michael J Strambler, Tami P Sullivan, Nadia L Ward, Nicole Holland Weiss, Jacob Kraemer Tebes
The 50th anniversary of the Swampscott Conference offers an opportunity to reflect on a community psychology setting, The Consultation Center at Yale, that was formed in response to the 1963 Community Mental Health Act and the 1965 Swampscott Conference. The Center has flourished as a community psychology setting for practice, research, and training for 39 of the 50 years since Swampscott. Its creation and existence over this period offers an opportunity for reflection on the types of settings needed to sustain the field into the future...
December 2016: American Journal of Community Psychology
Bret Kloos
As we near the fiftieth anniversary of the founding of a community psychology division of the American Psychological Association, there are reasons to be concerned about the sustainability of the field. This commentary proposes a need for deliberate, systematic efforts to cultivate settings that can sustain the field. A framework for outreach to build symbiotic relationships and synergistic collaborations with persons who do not identify as community psychologists is proposed. Simultaneously, a strategy of separation from other disciplines may be needed in some circumstances to conserve settings that sustain the field...
December 2016: American Journal of Community Psychology
Junhan Cho, Steven M Kogan
Informed by a life course perspective, this study tested a cascade model linking harsh, unresponsive parenting during childhood to young African American men's substance abuse via precocious transitions, economic instability, and future orientation. The moderating influence of community disadvantage and romantic partner support on the hypothesized pathways was also examined. At the baseline, the sample included 505 African American men between ages 19 and 22 years from high-poverty rural communities. Follow-up data were collected 18 months after baseline...
December 2016: American Journal of Community Psychology
Jason A Douglas, Cheryl T Grills, Sandra Villanueva, Andrew M Subica
Social and environmental determinants of childhood obesity present a public health dilemma, particularly in low-income communities of color. Case studies of two community-based organizations participating in the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's Communities Creating Healthy Environments (CCHE) childhood obesity initiative demonstrate multilevel, culturally situated community organizing strategies to address the root causes of this public health disparity. Informed by a 3-lens prescription-Social Justice, Culture-Place, and Organizational Capacity-contained in the CCHE Change Model and Evaluation Frame, we present examples of individual, organizational, and community empowerment to redress systemic inequities that manifest in poor health outcomes for people of color...
December 2016: American Journal of Community Psychology
Catherine Walker O'Neal, Jay A Mancini, Alycia DeGraff
Evidence of the impact of communities has been documented for a variety of individual and relational outcomes, including mental and physical health as well as the quality of romantic and parent-child relationships. The military represents a rather unique work context; in that, it is generally considered a lifestyle with a distinct culture and community. Yet, military families are also members of their broader, comprehensive community. Drawing from the social organizational theory of action and change (SOC) (Mancini & Bowen, 2013), and relationship provisions theory (Weiss, 1969) and utilizing a sample of 266 active duty military families, this study examined connectedness with the military community and the broader, comprehensive community...
December 2016: American Journal of Community Psychology
Katie M Edwards, Victoria L Banyard, Elizabeth A Moschella, Katherine M Seavey
This study qualitatively examined rural emerging adults' ways of thinking (i.e., lay theories) about the causes of intimate partner violence (IPV) and ideas on how to prevent IPV most effectively. Participants were 74 individuals (majority Caucasian, heterosexual, low income) between the ages of 18 and 24 who resided in one of 16 rural communities. Participants' perceptions of the causes of IPV included (a) individual-level pathology, stress, and lack of education; (b) intergenerational transmission of violence and early-life factors; (c) relationship stressors and challenges; and (d) community factors...
December 2016: American Journal of Community Psychology
Jessica Shaw, Rebecca Campbell, Debi Cain
Prior research has documented the problematic community response to sexual assault: the majority of sexual assaults reported to police are never prosecuted. Social dominance theory suggests that this response is a form of institutional discrimination, intended to maintain existing social structures, and that police personnel likely draw upon shared ideologies to justify their decision-making in sexual assault case investigations. This study drew upon social dominance theory to examine how police justified their investigatory decisions to identify potential leverage points for change...
December 2016: American Journal of Community Psychology
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