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American Journal of Community Psychology

Allison N Ponce, Michael Rowe
Citizenship is an approach to supporting the social inclusion and participation in society of people with mental illnesses. It is receiving greater attention in community mental health discourse and literature in parallel with increased awareness of social determinants of health and concern over the continued marginalization of persons with mental illness in the United States. In this article, we review the definition and principles of our citizenship framework with attention to social participation and access to resources as well as rights and responsibilities that society confers on its members...
January 11, 2018: American Journal of Community Psychology
Rachel M Manning, Ronni Michelle Greenwood
There is still much to learn about how aspects of the ecology of homelessness shape homeless adults' recovery experiences. In the present mixed-methods study, the relationship of service providers' work-related values to their service users' recovery experiences in the microsystem of homelessness were examined. Service providers completed semi-structured qualitative interviews about their service users, daily work activities, and work-related goals. At three time points, their service users completed quantitative measures of choice, mastery, and recovery in four life domains: physical health, psychiatric symptoms, substance use, and community integration...
January 11, 2018: American Journal of Community Psychology
Anna S Pruitt, John P Barile, Terry Yasuko Ogawa, Nelson Peralta, Reumell Bugg, John Lau, Thomas Lamberton, Corazon Hall, Victor Mori
This article presents findings from a community-based participatory evaluation of a Housing First program on the Island of O'ahu. In this study, clients in a Housing First program used Photovoice to evaluate the program and to advocate for progressive housing policies. Written together by members of the Housing First Photovoice group, this collaborative article describes the outcomes from both the Housing First program and the Photovoice project and demonstrates the ways in which participatory program evaluations can interact with client-driven programs like Housing First to produce a cumulative, transformative impact...
January 11, 2018: American Journal of Community Psychology
Emily M May, Sandra T Azar, Stephen A Matthews
Living in a disadvantaged neighborhood is associated with heightened risk for poor school readiness and health outcomes in early childhood, and the home environment is thought to be a primary mechanism by which neighborhood context impacts preschoolers. This study examined the effects of neighborhood concentrated disadvantage and neighborhood residential instability on the home physical environment and home learning environment for preschoolers in economically disadvantaged families (N = 187). Using structural equation modeling, mothers' perceived neighborhood disorder and depressive symptoms were examined as mechanisms by which neighborhood context "comes through the door...
January 9, 2018: American Journal of Community Psychology
Greg Townley, Molly Brown, John Sylvestre
Community psychology is rooted in community mental health research and practice and has made important contributions to this field. Yet, in the decades since its inception, community psychology has reduced its focus on promoting mental health, well-being, and liberation of individuals with serious mental illnesses. This special issue endeavors to highlight current efforts in community mental health from our field and related disciplines and point to future directions for reengagement in this area. The issue includes 12 articles authored by diverse stakeholder groups...
January 8, 2018: American Journal of Community Psychology
Beatrice Sacchetto, José Ornelas, Maria Manuela Calheiros, Marybeth Shinn
The capabilities approach provides a rich evaluative framework to guide transformative change in the community mental health system. This study reports the content and construct validity and psychometric properties of a contextualized measure of the extent to which mental health programs foster achieved capabilities. The Achieved Capabilities Questionnaire for Community Mental Health (ACQ-CMH), adapted from Nussbaum's capabilities framework, was developed previously with consumer collaboration. Content validity was assessed through a collaborative process, involving a panel of eight consumers, staff members, and senior researchers...
January 3, 2018: American Journal of Community Psychology
Sean Kidd, Larry Davidson, Tyler Frederick, Michael J Kral
This paper provides a critical reflection on participatory action research (PAR) methods as they pertain to community psychology. Following a brief review of the fundamental aspects of PAR, key developments in the field are examined. These developments include the redefinition of the research enterprise among groups such as Indigenous and consumer/survivor communities, challenges that attend the "project" framing of PAR, academic and practice context challenges, and important domains in which PAR methods need to become more engaged (e...
December 22, 2017: American Journal of Community Psychology
William E Hartmann, Denise M St Arnault, Joseph P Gone
Community psychology (CP) abandoned the clinic and disengaged from movements for community mental health (CMH) to escape clinical convention and pursue growing aspirations as an independent field of context-oriented, community-engaged, and values-driven research and action. In doing so, however, CP positioned itself on the sidelines of influential contemporary movements that promote potentially harmful, reductionist biomedical narratives in mental health. We advocate for a return to the clinic-the seat of institutional power in mental health-using critical clinic-based inquiry to open sites for clinical-community dialogue that can instigate transformative change locally and nationally...
December 21, 2017: American Journal of Community Psychology
Michelle Kearns, Orla T Muldoon, Rachel M Msetfi, Paul W G Surgenor
The stigma surrounding mental ill-health is an important issue that affects likelihood of diagnosis and uptake of services, as those affected may work to avoid exposure, judgment, or any perceived loss in status associated with their mental ill-health. In this study, we drew upon social identity theory to examine how social group membership might influence the stigma surrounding mental ill-health. Participants from two urban centers in Ireland (N = 626) completed a survey measuring stigma of mental health, perceived social support as well as identification with two different social groups (community and religion)...
December 21, 2017: American Journal of Community Psychology
Martina Mihelicova, Molly Brown, Valery Shuman
Individuals with serious mental illness are at particularly high risk for trauma; however, service environments with which they interact may not always be trauma-informed. While community mental health and other human services settings are moving toward trauma-informed care (TIC) service delivery, a variety of TIC frameworks exist without consensus regarding operationalization, thereby leading to challenges in implementation. TIC is principle-driven and presents substantial overlap with community psychology values and competencies, including ecological frameworks, second-order change, empowerment, and citizen participation...
December 21, 2017: American Journal of Community Psychology
Greg Townley, Eugene Brusilovskiy, Gretchen Snethen, Mark S Salzer
Greater community participation among individuals with serious mental illnesses is associated with better psychosocial and health outcomes. Typically, studies examining community participation have utilized self-report measures and been conducted in limited settings. The introduction of methodological advances to examining community participation of individuals with serious mental illnesses has the potential to advance the science of community mental health research and invigorate the work of community psychologists in this area...
December 18, 2017: American Journal of Community Psychology
Greg Townley, Rachel Terry
Articles published in the two most prominent journals of community psychology in North America, the American Journal of Community Psychology (AJCP) and Journal of Community Psychology (JCP), provide a clear indicator of trends in community research and practice. An examination of community psychology's history and scholarship suggests that the field has reduced its emphasis on promoting mental health, well-being, and liberation of individuals with serious mental illnesses over the past several decades. To further investigate this claim, the current review presents an analysis of articles relevant to community mental health (N = 307) published in the American Journal of Community Psychology (AJCP) and Journal of Community Psychology (JCP) from 1973 to 2015...
December 18, 2017: American Journal of Community Psychology
S Kathleen Worton, Julian Hasford, Eric Macnaughton, Geoffrey Nelson, Timothy MacLeod, Sam Tsemberis, Vicky Stergiopoulos, Paula Goering, Tim Aubry, Jino Distastio, Tim Richter
We present interim findings of a cross-site case study of an initiative to expand Housing First (HF) in Canada through training and technical assistance (TTA). HF is an evidence-based practice designed to end chronic homelessness for consumers of mental health services. We draw upon concepts from implementation science and systems change theory to examine how early implementation occurs within a system. Case studies examining HF early implementation were conducted in six Canadian communities receiving HF TTA...
December 18, 2017: American Journal of Community Psychology
Larissa Calancie, Nicole E Allen, Shu Wen Ng, Bryan J Weiner, Dianne S Ward, William B Ware, Alice S Ammerman
At least 282 Food Policy Councils (FPCs) are currently working to improve access to healthy foods in their communities by connecting food system sectors, gathering community input, and advising food policy. Empirical research on FPCs is limited. This study empirically evaluates FPCs to better understand the relationships between Organizational Capacity, Social Capital, and Council Effectiveness by testing a FPC Framework adapted from Allen and colleagues (2012). Members of all FPCs in the US, Canada, and Native American Tribes and First Nations were invited to complete the Food Policy Council Self-Assessment Tool (FPC-SAT)...
December 18, 2017: American Journal of Community Psychology
John Ecker, Rebecca Cherner, Jennifer Rae, Konrad Czechowski
The current article reviews the literature on sexuality among individuals with a severe mental illness (SMI) who have experienced homelessness, a topic that has received little attention in the research literature, particularly from a community psychology perspective. The review begins with a synthesis of the literature on SMI and sexuality, followed by a review of the available literature on SMI, homelessness, and sexuality. It concludes with an interpretation of the findings using community psychology values and principles...
December 15, 2017: American Journal of Community Psychology
John Sylvestre, Geranda Notten, Nick Kerman, Alexia Polillo, Konrad Czechowki
This paper examines the issue of poverty among people with serious mental illness (SMI), positioning it as a key issue to be confronted by community mental health systems and practitioners. The paper reviews three perspectives on poverty, considering how each sheds light on poverty among people with SMI, and their implications for action: (a) monetary resources, (b) basic needs, and (c) capabilities. The paper argues that community mental health programs and systems are currently unable to address poverty as they are overly focused on individual-level interventions that, on their own, cannot raise people out of poverty...
December 15, 2017: American Journal of Community Psychology
John R Reynolds, Michael Parrish
Natural mentors provide advice, moral support, and assistance to adolescents who aspire to obtain a postsecondary degree, but past studies of the benefits of having an informal adult mentor have yet to resolve several issues. Our analyses of a national sample of high school graduates test three hypotheses: (H1) natural mentoring increases the odds of college attendance and completion, (H2) guidance and career advice are more important for college success than encouragement or role modeling, and (H3) students from poor and working-class families benefit more from mentoring than students from middle- and upper-class families...
December 8, 2017: American Journal of Community Psychology
Peta Dzidic, Brian Bishop
How do you reconcile tensions between ethical research practice, personal values, and disciplinary values? This article focuses on an ethical challenge involving the engagement of rural Indigenous community members that emerged during my PhD fieldwork. The narrative illustrates the necessity to engage in critical reflexive research practice, a process which saw me respond to my own feelings of "wrong" and "right," contemplate a distinction between procedural ethics and virtue ethics in community-based research, explore colonizing research practices, and endeavor to reconcile an instance where the values of community psychology appeared in contest...
December 7, 2017: American Journal of Community Psychology
Preeti Chauhan, Amie M Schuck, Cathy Spatz Widom
Using data from a prospective cohort design study of a group of children with documented histories of abuse and neglect (n = 908) and matched controls (n = 667), this paper examines whether problem behaviors (e.g., prostitution, crime, school problems, and homelessness) in young adulthood explain the link between maltreatment in childhood and living in high-risk neighborhoods in middle adulthood. Problem behaviors were assessed at mean age of 29 and neighborhood characteristics were assessed at mean age of 40...
December 6, 2017: American Journal of Community Psychology
Sarah E O Schwartz, Stella S Kanchewa, Jean E Rhodes, Grace Gowdy, Abigail M Stark, John Paul Horn, McKenna Parnes, Renée Spencer
Social capital plays a key role in college and career success, and research indicates that a dearth of on-campus connections contributes to challenges first-generation college students face in effectively navigating the college environment. This study investigates a novel intervention that focuses on the development of skills and attitudes to empower first-generation college students to cultivate social capital and on-campus connections during the transition to college. A mixed methods, explanatory design was used to evaluate impacts and processes of the intervention among first-generation college students (n = 164) in the context of an ethnically diverse, urban, public university in the Northeast...
November 27, 2017: American Journal of Community Psychology
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