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American Journal of Community Psychology

Lauren F Lichty, Eylin Palamaro-Munsell
Discussions of community psychology (CP) ethics often examine how we might best uphold CP values in community-based practice. However, for many community psychologists in faculty positions, our main domain of practice is the undergraduate classroom. Teaching is essential to the growth and sustainability of our field as prospective students tend to discover CP during their undergraduate studies. University-based work is also a key site of CP practice. Universities are contested spaces where interlocking forms of oppression manifest in many ways, including teaching (e...
November 13, 2017: American Journal of Community Psychology
Rebecca Campbell, Michael Morris
In this concluding essay, we review the case studies presented in this Special Issue and examine whether community psychology has a distinctive approach to defining and resolving the core ethical canons of the Belmont Report (1979): Respect for Persons, Beneficence, and Justice. For two of these Principles-Respect for Persons and Beneficence-community psychologists elaborate upon and extend their definitions to consider their meaning in community-based, social justice-oriented research. The field's approach to Respect for Persons is multilevel in nature; in addition to respecting individuals and their diverse identities, we also have obligations to respect our community partnerships, the communities with whom we work, and the populations and cultures represented in our work...
November 8, 2017: American Journal of Community Psychology
Michela Lenzi, Jill Sharkey, Michael J Furlong, Ashley Mayworm, Kayleigh Hunnicutt, Alessio Vieno
This study examined the association between two characteristics of school climate (sense of community and teacher support, measured both at the individual and at the school level) and students' feelings of being unsafe at school. The study involved a sample of 49,638 students aged 10-18 years who participated in the 2010-2012 California Healthy Kids Survey. Using hierarchical linear modeling (HLM), our findings revealed that, at the individual level, students perceiving higher levels of sense of community and teacher support at school were less likely to feel unsafe within the school environment...
November 8, 2017: American Journal of Community Psychology
David A Julian, Tyrone Smith, R Andrew Hunt
This article provides first-person accounts of ethical issues inherent in an evaluation of the Native American Indian Center of Central Ohio (NAICCO) Circles of Care project. Circles of Care is a three-year, infrastructure development program funded through the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) which is part of the federal Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). The grant program is for American Indian and Alaskan Native (AI/AN) tribes and urban Indian communities and includes a strong emphasis on community engagement and community ownership...
November 3, 2017: American Journal of Community Psychology
Jeffrey Duong, Catherine P Bradshaw
Guided by the social-emotional learning (SEL) framework, we studied developmental trajectory patterns of five key competency outcomes spanning middle through late childhood: altruism, empathy, self-efficacy, aggression, and hyperactivity. We then assessed their links to middle childhood home, parental, and community contexts. Data from the Institute of Education Sciences' Social and Character Development Program, which comprised nearly 2,400 elementary school students who were followed from Grades 3 through 5, were analyzed using growth mixture modeling...
November 3, 2017: American Journal of Community Psychology
Andrew D Case
Reflexivity is an important tool for navigating ethically important moments in fieldwork. It may be particularly useful in situations where the researcher has the potential to undermine the conduct of the study and/or the well-being-enhancing role of counterspaces. In this article, I explore my use of reflexivity to traverse ethically important moments I encountered while investigating a counterspace for African-American youth who had been incarcerated. The ethical challenge concerned whether and how to continue this study in light of realizing that I held implicit biases toward the research participants...
October 13, 2017: American Journal of Community Psychology
Natalie M Kivell, Scotney D Evans, Susan E Paterson
This narrative outlines our challenges in studying power and power structures within an individual-level ethical framework. Taking a social ethics perspective, we share the story of our "sticky situation" (Campbell, ) that transpired during a multi-year community partnership. We were asked, by our community partners, to help collect interview data without informed consent. As a team of community-engaged university researchers, we were faced with a seemingly easy ethical situation (no consent, no research) that had unexpectedly complicated and long-lasting consequences...
October 13, 2017: American Journal of Community Psychology
Miryam Haarlammert, Dina Birman, Ashmeet Oberoi, Wendy Jordana Moore
The purpose of this paper is to write about insights and special considerations for researchers who are, to some degree, "insiders" to the communities they study by expanding on the concept of representational ethics as applied to research in community psychology with diverse and marginalized groups. Representational ethics refers to the ways that researchers, artists, or corporations represent the identities of the people they portray in their communications. As community psychologists we generate and disseminate knowledge about the communities we work with, and in that process, create narratives about the people who participate in our studies...
October 13, 2017: American Journal of Community Psychology
Nathan R Todd
This is a story about learning how to navigate my social identities as a non-religious gay man attempting to conduct data-based consultation with a religious congregation. Beyond my own growth in knowing myself better, this story speaks to the larger ethical challenge of how we build trust in community relationships, and in particular how much of our personal selves we need to disclose in the process of an individual or group deciding to work with us. Individuals and groups make decisions to work with us based on who they perceive us to be; thus, what is our ethical obligation to disclose aspects of who we are to promote full informed consent? To illustrate this ethical challenge of personal disclosure, I tell the story of discussions I had with three different religious leaders and a congregational committee about potentially working together...
October 13, 2017: American Journal of Community Psychology
Jack Tsai, Crystal Yun See Lee, Thomas Byrne, Robert H Pietrzak, Steven M Southwick
Public attitudes on homelessness can and has influenced policies and services for homeless populations. This study surveyed national public attitudes about homelessness in the 21st century and examined changes in attitudes in the past two decades. An online survey of public attitudes about homelessness was conducted with 541 U.S. adults across 47 states in November 2016 using Amazon Mechanical Turk. Survey results were compared to two public surveys conducted in 1990. Compared to previous surveys, the current sample endorsed more compassion, government support, and liberal attitudes about homelessness...
October 13, 2017: American Journal of Community Psychology
Sarah V Suiter
This article explores an ethical dilemma that arose from the author's involvement in a project intended to identify and address the needs of seven batey communities in the Dominican Republic. In the summer of 2014, the author conducted a large-scale needs assessment to inform strategic planning for a foundation that was invested in community development work in those communities. Through a collaborative process, the author worked with the foundation, representatives of the migrant communities, and other researchers to develop survey and focus group tools that were administered to 1,360 and 54 people, respectively...
October 13, 2017: American Journal of Community Psychology
Shabnam Javdani, Sukhmani Singh, Corianna E Sichel
In this article, we describe ethical tensions we have faced in the context of our work as intervention scientists, where we aim to promote social justice and change systems that impact girls involved in the juvenile legal system. These ethical tensions are, at their core, about resisting collusion with systems of control while simultaneously collaborating with them. Over the course of designing and implementing a randomized controlled trial (RCT) of an ecological advocacy intervention for girls, called ROSES, ethical paradoxes crystalized and prompted us to engage in critical reflection and action toward the aim of moving away from conducting research on legal-system-involved girls and moving toward a more democratic, participatory process of inquiry with girls...
October 13, 2017: American Journal of Community Psychology
Amanda L Roy
Mobile technology is increasingly being used to measure individuals' moods, thoughts, and behaviors in real time. Current examples include the use of smartphones to collect ecological momentary assessments (EMAs; assessments delivered "in the moment"); wearable technology to passively collect objective measures of participants' movement, physical activity, sleep, and physiological response; and smartphones and wearable devices with global positioning system (GPS) capabilities to collect precise information about where participants spend their time...
September 25, 2017: American Journal of Community Psychology
Maryam Kia-Keating, Diana Santacrose, Sabrina Liu
Community-based participatory researchers increasingly incorporate photography and social media into their work. Despite its relative infancy, social media has created a powerful network that allows individuals to convey messages quickly to a widespread audience. In addition to its potential benefits, the use of social media in research also carries risk, given the fast pace of exchanges, sharing of personal images and ideas in high accessibility, low privacy contexts and continually shifting options and upgrades...
September 25, 2017: American Journal of Community Psychology
Janelle M Silva
This article explores the role and responsibility of the community psychologist in creating change that could potentially harm the group they are meant to be in solidarity with. Drawing upon a 2-year project with a Latinx Student Union at a public middle school in the Pacific Northwest, I examine the ethical dilemmas that arose when powerful stakeholders (school administration) changed the goals and intention of the research project without the consent of the low-power stakeholders (the students). This narrative seeks to shed light on the dilemmas that come with being an ethical community psychologist (Balcazar, Garate-Serafini, & Keys, 2004; Nelson, Prilleltensky, & MacGillivary, 2001; O'Neill, 1989), how these ethics can be compromised by one's identity, and what it means to work for/with/against one's community when deciding whether to stay with or leave a project...
September 25, 2017: American Journal of Community Psychology
Joseph P Gone
In a 2014 presentation at an academic conference featuring an American Indian community audience, I critically engaged the assumptions and commitments of Indigenous Research Methodologies. These methodologies have been described as approaches and procedures for conducting research that stem from long-subjugated Indigenous epistemologies (or "ways of knowing"). In my presentation, I described a Crow Indian religious tradition known as a skull medicine as an example of an indigenous way of knowing, referring to a historical photograph of a skull medicine bundle depicted on an accompanying slide...
September 20, 2017: American Journal of Community Psychology
Leonard A Jason
The Institute of Medicine (IOM) is one of the nation's more influential health-related non-profit organizations. It plays a large role in shaping health policy by commissioning panels to develop "white papers" describing research and recommendations on a variety of health topics. These white paper publications are often used to help make policy decisions at the legislative and executive levels. Such a prominent institution might seem like a natural ally for policy-related collaborative efforts. As community psychologists, we strongly endorse efforts to positively influence public policy at the national level...
September 18, 2017: American Journal of Community Psychology
Isidro Maya Jariego
The program Edúcame Primero (Educate Me First) is an evidence-based practice for eradicating child labor that has been applied with positive results in Colombia, Peru, and several Central American countries. In this article, we describe the difficulties of implementing the program in two poor areas of Lima (Peru) between 2014 and 2016. Specifically, we discuss three ethical challenges faced during the implementation of the program: (a) the existence of a movement of working children that defends the right of children to work; (b) the polarization of some community-based associations and government institutions on how to deal with the problems of working children; and (c) the use of network indicators in the evaluation of the community's level of cohesion...
September 18, 2017: American Journal of Community Psychology
Rebecca Campbell, Michael Morris
This Special Issue examines ethical challenges in community psychology research and practice. The literature on ethics in community psychology has remained largely abstract and aspirational, with few concrete examples and case studies, so the goal of this Special Issue was to expand our written discourse about ethical dilemmas in our field. In these articles, researchers and practitioners share stories of specific ethical challenges they faced and how they sought to resolve them. These first-person narratives examine how ethical challenges come about, how community psychology values inform ethical decision making, and how lessons learned from these experiences can inform an ethical framework for community psychology...
September 18, 2017: American Journal of Community Psychology
Zachary P Neal, Jennifer Watling Neal
In the March 2014 issue of American Journal of Community Psychology, we published an article that examined the tension between two core values in the field of community psychology: promoting contextual conditions that foster respect for diversity and promoting contextual conditions that foster sense of community. We concluded that processes of social network formation could help explain why diversity and sense of community are seemingly incompatible goals. The study's findings initially disseminated through the usual academic channels, and later through mainstream media outlets...
September 18, 2017: American Journal of Community Psychology
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