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American Journal of Community Psychology

Patrick J Fowler, Michael Schoeny
A longitudinal randomized controlled trial tested whether access to permanent housing reduces child maltreatment among inadequately housed families under investigation for child abuse and neglect. The study followed homeless and child welfare-involved families randomly assigned to receive a referral for housing subsidies plus housing case management (n = 75, 196 children) or housing case management alone (n = 75, 186 children). Latent growth models examined change in caregiver-reported frequencies of psychological aggression, physical abuse, and neglect toward children at five time points across 2...
July 18, 2017: American Journal of Community Psychology
José A Bauermeister, Emily S Pingel, Triana Kazaleh Sirdenis, Jack Andrzejewski, Gage Gillard, Gary W Harper
HIV/STI incidence has shifted to a younger demographic, comprised disproportionately of gay and bisexual men, transgender women, and people of color. Recognizing the importance of community organizing and participatory engagement during the intervention planning process, we describe the steps taken to engage diverse constituents (e.g., youth and practitioners) during the development of a structural-level HIV/STI prevention and care initiative for young sexual and gender minorities in Southeast Michigan. Our multi-sector coalition (MFierce; Michigan Forward in Enhancing Research and Community Equity) utilized a series of community dialogues to identify, refine, and select programmatic strategies with the greatest potential...
July 7, 2017: American Journal of Community Psychology
Debra J Rog, Kathryn A Henderson, Laurel M Lunn, Andrew L Greer, Mei Ling Ellis
Greater understanding of how residential stability affects child separation and reunification among homeless families can guide both child welfare and homeless policy and practice. This article draws upon two longitudinal studies examining services and housing for homeless families and their relationship to family and housing stability. Both studies were conducted in the same state at roughly the same time with similar instruments. The first study, examining families' experiences and outcomes following entry into the homeless service system in three counties in Washington State, found that at 18 months following shelter entry, families that are intact with their children were significantly more likely to be housed in their own housing (46%) than families that were separated from one or more of their children (31%)...
July 5, 2017: 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
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
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
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
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