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American Journal of Community Psychology

Rodrigo Quiroz Saavedra, Liesette Brunson, Nathalie Bigras
This paper presents an in-depth case study of the dynamic processes of mutual adjustment that occurred between two professional teams participating in a multicomponent community-based intervention (CBI). Drawing on the concept of social regularities, we focus on patterns of social interaction within and across the two microsystems involved in delivering the intervention. Two research strategies, narrative analysis and structural network analysis, were used to reveal the social regularities linking the two microsystems...
June 5, 2017: American Journal of Community Psychology
Jamie N Albright, Noelle M Hurd, Saida B Hussain
Youth mentoring interventions are often designed with the intention of promoting improved outcomes among marginalized youth. Despite their promise to reduce inequality through the provision of novel opportunities and increased social capital to marginalized youth, youth mentoring interventions hold the potential to reproduce rather than reduce inequality. In the current review, we explore literature on youth mentoring that has incorporated a social justice lens. We conclude that there is a need for greater attention to principles of social justice in the design, implementation, and evaluation of youth mentoring interventions...
June 2, 2017: American Journal of Community Psychology
Joseph P Gone, Katherine P Blumstein, David Dominic, Nickole Fox, Joan Jacobs, Rebecca S Lynn, Michelle Martinez, Ashley Tuomi
Many urban American Indian community members lack access to knowledgeable participation in indigenous spiritual practices. And yet, these sacred traditional activities remain vitally important to their reservation-based kin. In response, our research team partnered with an urban American Indian health center in Detroit for purposes of developing a structured program to facilitate more ready access to participation in indigenous spiritual knowledge and practices centered on the sweat lodge ceremony. Following years of preparation and consultation, we implemented a pilot version of the Urban American Indian Traditional Spirituality Program in the spring of 2016 for 10 urban AI community participants...
June 2, 2017: American Journal of Community Psychology
Ravi Gokani, Richard T G Walsh
We examine historical and conceptual literature in community psychology in order to understand the field's potential to be the socially transformative subdiscipline of psychology to which it aspires. By reviewing papers from two prominent journals and other literature, we conclude that the claim that community psychology is well-suited to social transformation, because it is a product of Sixties' radicalism and is theoretically equipped, is untenable. Systematic accounts of the subdiscipline's origins suggest that the transformative aspirations of current community psychologists do not correspond to the subdiscipline's reformist past...
May 4, 2017: American Journal of Community Psychology
Marie-Claude Tremblay, Debbie H Martin, Ann C Macaulay, Pierre Pluye
A long-standing challenge in community-based participatory research (CBPR) has been to anchor practice and evaluation in a relevant and comprehensive theoretical framework of community change. This study describes the development of a multidimensional conceptual framework that builds on social movement theories to identify key components of CBPR processes. Framework synthesis was used as a general literature search and analysis strategy. An initial conceptual framework was developed from the theoretical literature on social movement...
May 4, 2017: American Journal of Community Psychology
Molly Brown, Gia Chodzen, Martina Mihelicova, Kelly Collins
Identification of subgroups of the homeless populations, or typologies, has been an important research priority to guide homelessness services and policies. This study builds on previous typological research conducted in the general homeless population by focusing on individuals with mental illness to further delineate typologies within a more homogenous subset of the homeless population. A time-patterned typology based on episodes of street and shelter homelessness over a four-year period was applied to a sample of 246 individuals identified through mental health administrative records...
May 4, 2017: American Journal of Community Psychology
Roderick J Watts
Reconciling the Zen-like paradox on the back of every red penny-"out of many, one"-is not for the faint of heart. It is a diversity motto, and a lofty desire that the United States claims to covet. But can its citizens, undocumented or otherwise, even agree on what it is? Is not the desire to maintain a strong sense of community in conflict with a Noah's Ark conception of diversity? Using my personal experience in an intentional community determined to foster racial integration, I explore the complicated possibility of having it both ways...
April 11, 2017: American Journal of Community Psychology
Richard Florida
There is a long literature extolling the virtues of diversity for both the civility and economic performance of nations and cities. On the most basic level, diversity helps nations and cities attract the wide range of creative talent that drives innovation and economic growth. Yet similarly, there is a large amount of literature on the sorting and segregation of different types of people into distinct communities. This in turn undermines the very mixing of people and groups required for economic prosperity to flourish...
April 3, 2017: American Journal of Community Psychology
Charles P Hoy-Ellis, Karen I Fredriksen-Goldsen
This study aims to (a) examine the direct and indirect effects internalized heterosexism, disclosure of gender identity, and perceived general stress in association with depression among transgender older adults; and (b) to assess the relative contribution of each relationship. Secondary analyses of data from a large community-based study of older sexual and gender minorities were conducted utilizing structural equation modeling with a subsample (n = 174) of transgender adults aged 50 to 86-years old. Disclosure of gender identity had no significant direct or indirect effects on either perceived general stress or depression...
June 2017: American Journal of Community Psychology
Jean L Hill
Agent-based modeling has provided some interesting investigations of the hypothesis that there is a dialectical relationship between sense of community and diversity. A close look at those models strongly suggests that only models in which the attributes of agents are fixed completely support that hypothesis. Models which acknowledge that diversity is contextually defined, and thus changeable, suggest that there is no inherent dialectical relationship between the two values. Rather, it is the context of the setting, the way in which the setting is socially constructed, that determines whether a strong sense of community can exist in highly diverse settings...
June 2017: American Journal of Community Psychology
Zachary P Neal
Over the past couple of years, a debate has played out in the pages of the American Journal of Community Psychology concerning the relationship between two of Community Psychology's core values: promoting diversity and promoting a sense of community. This special section is to continue a discussion about diversity and community, both among the debate's initial contributors (Alex Stivala, Greg Townley, and Zachary Neal), as well as among others whose own work has touched on these issues (Anne Brodsky, Richard Florida, Jean Hill, and Roderick Watts)...
March 24, 2017: American Journal of Community Psychology
Michael Pergamit, Mary Cunningham, Devlin Hanson
This study addresses whether providing housing vouchers through the Family Unification Program (FUP) to families involved in the child welfare system reduces child maltreatment and the need for child welfare services. The study uses child welfare administrative data on 326 children in Portland, Oregon, and 502 children in San Diego, California from the point at which their families were referred to the program through 18 months post-referral. Using a quasi-experimental waitlist comparison design, probit regressions show little impact of FUP on preventing child removal from home, but some positive impact on reunification among children already placed out of home...
March 24, 2017: American Journal of Community Psychology
Anne E Brodsky
Although, there are many times when P/SOC and diversity appear in opposition, I argue that this conflict is not inherent to the concepts or their joint value, but to social contexts in which they are enacted in real life. The primary values of community psychology-building and supporting positive communities, social change, and social justice within a framework that recognizes the centrality of diversity, culture, inclusion, power, and privilege-actually bind diversity and community together. Thus, we can bridge this seeming dialectic through deeper reflection about the real and intended meaning, operationalization, and application of these two terms, and a reliance on the central values of our field...
March 24, 2017: American Journal of Community Psychology
Greg Townley
This commentary reflects on the Community-Diversity Dialectic, summarizing its development and reviewing its impact on community psychology research and practice. Two contemporary examples are presented to illustrate both the possibilities of and challenges to bridging the gap between sense of community and diversity: the rise of the so-called "alt-right" on the one hand, and the popularity of Pokémon Go on the other. The article concludes with a brief discussion of Kurt Lewin's contributions to group dynamics theory, recommending that an emphasis on our interdependent fates and goals is paramount to reconciling the tensions between sense of community and diversity that persist in an increasingly complex multicultural world...
March 13, 2017: American Journal of Community Psychology
Kristen Gleason, John P Barile, Charlene K Baker
The State of Hawai'i, like many other areas across the United States, has large numbers of individuals and families experiencing homelessness, many of whom seek support through statewide shelters and services. This study explored the diversity of ways in which individuals and families moved through Hawai'i's homeless service system. Using administrative data, a cohort of new service users was tracked across time to trace the developmental trajectories of their homeless service use. The sample consisted of adults who had entered the service system for the first time in the fiscal year (FY) of 2010 (N = 4655)...
March 13, 2017: American Journal of Community Psychology
Alex Stivala
Community psychology involves several dialectics between potentially opposing ideals, such as theory and practice, rights and needs, and respect for human diversity and sense of community. Some recent papers in the American Journal of Community Psychology have examined the diversity-community dialectic, some with the aid of agent-based modeling and concepts from network science. This paper further elucidates these concepts and suggests that research in community psychology can benefit from a useful dialectic between agent-based modeling and the real-world concerns of community psychology...
March 13, 2017: American Journal of Community Psychology
Nathan R Todd, Brett A Boeh, Jaclyn D Houston-Kolnik, Rachael L Suffrin
This study investigates interfaith groups from across the United States to understand how these religious settings may serve as mediating structures to facilitate individual political action. Based on a multilevel modeling analysis with 169 individuals from 25 interfaith groups, we found that core activities of the group, such as group members sharing community information (e.g., announcing upcoming events, political meetings, community issues) or sharing religious information (e.g., educating members about their religion) positively and negatively predicted individual political action as a result of group participation, respectively...
March 6, 2017: American Journal of Community Psychology
Janelle M Silva
This is an autoethnography of one community psychologist's reflections on the abrupt conclusion of a project that resulted in the dismantlement of a Latinx Student Union at a public middle school in the Pacific Northwest. Gloria Anzaldúa's (Borderlands/La Frontera: The new mestiza, Aunt Lute Books, San Francisco, 2002) notion of nepantla is used to situate how an individual's personal identities often intersects with their professional identities in ways that collide within the research environment. Drawing on the "heart work" core competencies within the field of community psychology (The Community Psychologist, 45, 2012, 8; American Journal of Community Psychology, 55, 2015, 266) and extending the dialogue of feminist community psychologists engaged in narrative work (American Journal of Community Psychology, 37, 2006, 157; American Journal of Community Psychology, 37, 2006, 267; Feminist research practice: A primer, Sage, Los Angeles, 2014; American Journal of Community Psychology, 28, 2000, 883), the author addresses why it is important for researchers of Color engaged in community collaborations to reflect on projects that have unraveled to understand how their positionality shifts within social contexts...
March 6, 2017: American Journal of Community Psychology
Heather L Lawford, Heather L Ramey
Recent research on community involvement points to the importance of both agentic (advancing the self) and communal motives (serving others) as key predictors, though few studies have examined both simultaneously. At the same time, research has identified generativity, defined as concern for future generations as a legacy of the self, as particularly relevant for community involvement. Moreover, generativity involves both agentic and communal motives, meaning that advancing personal goals and caring for others are integrated in this construct...
March 6, 2017: American Journal of Community Psychology
Felicia Hanitio, Douglas D Perkins
Using a mixed-method analysis, we propose and test a framework for predicting the international development of community psychology (CP) and community development (CD) as two examples of applied community-based research (CBR) disciplines aiming to link local knowledge generation with social change. Multiple regressions on an international sample of 91 countries were used to determine the relative influences of preexisting grassroots activism, population size, social and economic development, and civil liberties on estimates of the current strength of CP and CD based on Internet search and review of training courses and programs, published articles and journals, and professional organizations and conferences in these countries...
March 2017: American Journal of Community Psychology
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