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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...
October 18, 2016: American Journal of Community Psychology
Tiffeny R Jimenez, Bernadette Sánchez, Susan D McMahon, Judah Viola
As we reflect on the founding vision of the field of community psychology in the United States, we assess our progress toward achieving, building upon, and refining this vision. We review early literature regarding the US vision of the field, provide a historical overview of education and training within the field, and provide recommendations to guide and strengthen our approach to education. Our recommendations include the following: (a) serve as a resource to communities, (b) promote a sense of community within our field, (c) diversify students, faculty, and leadership, (d) evaluate our efforts, (e) be current and relevant, (f) enhance the visibility and growth of our field, and (g) create globally minded and innovative CPists...
October 11, 2016: American Journal of Community Psychology
Andria B Eisman, Marc A Zimmerman, Daniel Kruger, Thomas M Reischl, Alison L Miller, Susan P Franzen, Susan Morrel-Samuels
Empowerment-based strategies have become widely used method to address health inequities and promote social change. Few researchers, however, have tested theoretical models of empowerment, including multidimensional, higher-order models. We test empirically a multidimensional, higher-order model of psychological empowerment (PE), guided by Zimmerman's conceptual framework including three components of PE: intrapersonal, interactional, and behavioral. We also investigate if PE is associated with positive and negative outcomes among youth...
October 6, 2016: American Journal of Community Psychology
Sarah R Lowe, Richard K Kwok, Julianne Payne, Lawrence S Engel, Sandro Galea, Dale P Sandler
Disaster recovery work increases risk for mental health problems, yet the mechanisms underlying this association are unclear. We explored links from recovery work to post-traumatic stress (PTS), major depression (MD), and generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) symptoms through physical health symptoms and household income in the aftermath of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. As part of the NIEHS GuLF STUDY, participants (N = 10,141) reported on cleanup work activities, spill-related physical health symptoms, and household income at baseline, and mental health symptoms an average of 14...
October 5, 2016: American Journal of Community Psychology
Bonnie J Leadbeater, Kara Thompson, Paweena Sukhawathanakul
Testing the theories that form the basis of prevention programs can enhance our understanding of behavioral change and inform the development, coordination, and adaptation of prevention programs. However, theories of change showing the linkages from intervention program components to risk or protective factors to desired outcomes across time are rarely specified or tested. In this 2-year longitudinal study, we test the theory that increases in two protective factors (i.e., children's prosocial leadership and their teachers' expectations of social responsibility) targeted by the WITS Programs (Walk Away, Ignore, Talk it Out, and Seek Help) would be associated with declines in peer victimization, aggression, and emotional problems...
September 30, 2016: American Journal of Community Psychology
Meg A Bond
To take up the AJCP editor's call to think forward in this article, I offer up three challenges that revolve around further contextualizing our understandings of diversity, i.e., reconsidering the notion of "difference" between discrete categories; more fully emphasizing diversity as socially situated; and further delving into local, setting-specific practices that shape the meanings of diversity. Enhanced attention to these three challenges can transform theory, research, and action about diversity as we move into community psychology's next 50 years...
September 19, 2016: American Journal of Community Psychology
Amy A Mericle, Katherine J Karriker-Jaffe, Shalika Gupta, David M Sheridan, Doug L Polcin
Sober living houses (SLHs) are alcohol and drug-free living environments for individuals in recovery. The goal of this study was to map the distribution of SLHs in Los Angeles (LA) County, California (N = 260) and examine neighborhood correlates of SLH density. Locations of SLHs were geocoded and linked to tract-level Census data as well as to publicly available information on alcohol outlets and recovery resources. Neighborhoods with SLHs differed from neighborhoods without them on measures of socioeconomic disadvantage and accessibility of recovery resources...
September 2016: American Journal of Community Psychology
Lauren M Hodge, Karen M T Turner
This paper presents a review of the empirical literature for studies evaluating factors that facilitate and create barriers to sustained program implementation in disadvantaged communities. It outlines study methodology and sustainment outcomes and proposes a conceptual model that involves implementation sustainment support for providers delivering evidence-based health and family services in disadvantaged communities. Sustained program implementation in the community setting is a significant issue as only 43% of studies reported successfully sustained programs...
September 2016: American Journal of Community Psychology
Nickolas M Jones, Dana Rose Garfin, E Alison Holman, Roxane Cohen Silver
Traditional and new media inform and expose the public to potentially distressing graphic content following disasters, but predictors of media use have received limited attention. We examine media-use patterns after the Boston Marathon bombings (BMB) in a representative national U.S. sample (n = 2888), with representative oversamples from metropolitan Boston (n = 845) and New York City (n = 941). Respondents completed an Internet-based survey 2-4 weeks post-BMB. Use of traditional media was correlated with older age, prior indirect media-based exposure to collective traumas, and direct BMB exposure...
September 2016: American Journal of Community Psychology
Karen R Flórez, Madhumita Bonnie Ghosh-Dastidar, Robin Beckman, Kayla de la Haye, Obidiugwu Kenrik Duru, Ana F Abraído-Lanza, Tamara Dubowitz
African American neighborhoods have been historically targeted for urban renewal projects, which impact social composition and resident's health. The Hill District in Pittsburgh, PA is such a neighborhood. This research sought to investigate the extent to which social networks and perceived neighborhood social cohesion and safety were associated with psychological distress among residents in an African American neighborhood undergoing urban renewal, before the implementation of major neighborhood changes. Findings revealed a modest, significant inverse association between social network size and psychological distress (β = -0...
September 2016: American Journal of Community Psychology
Sumin Na, Andrew G Ryder, Laurence J Kirmayer
Studies have consistently found that East Asian immigrants in North America are less likely to use mental health services even when they experience levels of distress comparable to Euro-Americans. Although cultural factors that may prevent East Asian immigrants from seeking mental health care have been identified, few studies have explored ways to foster appropriate help-seeking and use of mental health services. Recent work on mental health literacy provides a potential framework for strategies to increase appropriate help-seeking and use of services...
September 2016: American Journal of Community Psychology
Rachel L Burrage, Joseph P Gone, Sandra L Momper
American Indian (AI) youth have some of the highest rates of suicide of any group in the United States, and the majority of AI youth live in urban areas away from tribal communities. As such, understanding the resources available for suicide prevention among urban AI youth is critical, as is understanding the challenges involved in accessing such resources. Pre-existing interview data from 15 self-identified AI community members and staff from an Urban Indian Health Organization were examined to understand existing resources for urban AI youth suicide prevention, as well as related challenges...
September 2016: American Journal of Community Psychology
Heather Henderson, Stephanie Child, Spencer Moore, Justin B Moore, Andrew T Kaczynski
Limited research has explored how specific elements of physical and social environments influence mental health indicators such as perceived stress, or whether such associations are moderated by gender. This study examined the relationship between selected neighborhood characteristics and perceived stress levels within a primarily low-income, older, African-American population in a mid-sized city in the Southeastern U.S. Residents (n = 394; mean age=55.3 years, 70.9% female, 89.3% African American) from eight historically disadvantaged neighborhoods completed surveys measuring perceptions of neighborhood safety, social cohesion, aesthetics, and stress...
September 2016: American Journal of Community Psychology
Melanie K Norton, Megan V Smith, Urania Magriples, Trace S Kershaw
This study examined the relationship between traditional masculine role norms (status, toughness, anti-femininity) and psychosocial mechanisms of sexual risk (sexual communication, sexual self-efficacy) among young, low-income, and minority parenting couples. Between 2007 and 2011, 296 pregnant adolescent females and their male partners were recruited from urban obstetrics clinics in Connecticut. Data regarding participants' beliefs in masculine role norms, frequency of general sex communication and sexual risk communication, and sexual self-efficacy were collected via computer-assisted self-interviews...
September 2016: American Journal of Community Psychology
Kathryn J Holland, Verónica Caridad Rabelo, Lilia Cortina
Sexual assault is a pervasive problem in the U.S. military, especially against women. Bystander intervention is increasingly promoted as important for reducing sexual violence, and it may be particularly helpful in contexts with high rates of sexual violence. Bystander training encourages and enables people to intervene safely and stop sexual violence. In this study, we drew from an ecological model to investigate intrapersonal, microsystem, and exosystem factors that predicted Service members' assumption of personal responsibility to intervene in an alcohol-involved sexual assault...
September 2016: American Journal of Community Psychology
Adam Voight, Maury Nation
School climate has received increased attention in education policy and, in response, educators are seeking strategies to improve the climates of their middle and high schools. However, there has been no comprehensive synthesis of the empirical evidence for what works in school climate improvement. This article constitutes a systematic review of programs and practices with empirical support for improving school climate. It defines school climate and provides a methodology for identifying and evaluating relevant studies...
September 2016: American Journal of Community Psychology
Jeremiah W Jaggers, Robert J Prattini, Wesley T Church
Myriad factors have been found to have an impact on delinquent behavior and traumatic stress. This study proposes a model that tests the relationship between common predictors of delinquency (neighborhood condition, antisocial peer socialization, and exposure to violence) with traumatic stress. Serial mediation was used to test the relationships between these predictors and traumatic stress. Results indicate the mediation effect between neighborhood conditions and traumatic stress significantly reduces the total effect...
September 2016: American Journal of Community Psychology
Joseph H Gardella, Emily E Tanner-Smith, Benjamin W Fisher
Adolescents who experience multiple victimization (i.e., victimization on a regular basis) are at greater risk for having negative academic outcomes including lower achievement and poorer attendance than those who do not experience such victimization. Yet, the role of school contexts in this relationship remains unclear. Nevertheless, school-based efforts to reduce victimization often focus on altering contexts without sufficient evidence of associations with improved student outcomes. School security measures constitute one such suite of contextual interventions aimed at reducing victimization...
September 2016: American Journal of Community Psychology
Tim Aubry, Arnaud Duhoux, Fran Klodawsky, John Ecker, Elizabeth Hay
The current study examined risk and resilience factors at multiple levels that affect homeless individuals' ability to exit homelessness and achieve housing stability. It also examined the relationship between housing status, housing quality and mental health functioning. The methodology is a longitudinal study of single homeless individuals staying in emergency shelters in a medium-sized Canadian city who were followed for a 2 year period. Data were collected from participants at a baseline interview when they were homeless and at a 2-year follow-up...
September 2016: American Journal of Community Psychology
Sarah E O Schwartz, Jean E Rhodes
Traditional approaches to formal youth mentoring have focused primarily on improving the lives of "at-risk" youth through the assignment of individual mentors who are typically disconnected from youth's communities. Similarly, research in the field of formal mentoring has emphasized the dyadic relationship between the mentor and the mentee, with less attention paid to the broader relational contexts in which such relationships unfold. The current paper proposes a new framework that expands the scope of mentoring interventions to include approaches that build on and cultivate informal supports and empower youth to identify and reach out to networks of potential supportive adults, thus increasing the reach of youth mentoring...
September 2016: American Journal of Community Psychology
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