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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...
March 29, 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...
March 27, 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
Kathryn J Holland, Lilia M Cortina
Sexual assault is a prevalent problem in higher education, and despite the increasing availability of formal supports on college campuses, few sexual assault survivors use them. Experiencing sexual assault can have devastating consequences on survivors' psychological and educational wellbeing, which may intensify if survivors do not receive adequate care. Drawing from existing theoretical frameworks and empirical research, this study used a mixed methodological approach to examine why survivors did not use three key campus supports-the Title IX Office, the sexual assault center, and housing staff-and if these reasons differed across the three supports...
March 6, 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
Heidi L M DeLoveh, Lauren Bennett Cattaneo
Sexual assault is a widespread problem on college campuses that has been the subject of substantial attention in recent years (Ali, 2011; Krebs, Lindquist, Berzofsky, Shook-Sa, & Peterson, 2016). Resources designed to address the problem exist, but there is evidence that they are underutilized by survivors (Campbell, 2008). The current study used grounded theory to explore how sexual assault survivors make decisions about helpseeking. In-depth interviews were conducted with 14 college sexual assault survivors to develop a theoretical model for their decision-making process...
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
Elizabeth B Raposa, Nathan Dietz, Jean E Rhodes
Over the past decade, considerable resources have been devoted to recruiting volunteer mentors and expanding mentoring programs. It is unclear whether these efforts have helped to counter the broader national trends of declining volunteer rates. The current study uses data from the Volunteering Supplement of the Current Population Survey (CPS), sponsored by the U.S. Census Bureau and U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, to explore population-level trends in mentoring over the past decade. Results suggest that mentoring rates have remained relatively stable over the past decade, but that the population of mentors has changed somewhat in terms of age, ethnicity, educational background, and region of the United States...
February 22, 2017: American Journal of Community Psychology
Erin E Toolis
As economic inequality and segregation continue to grow in the U.S., psychology has an important role to play in exploring and promoting processes that can disrupt social injustice. This paper identifies the privatization of public space as a social problem that contributes to the entrenchment of social, economic, and racial inequality, and advances "critical placemaking" as a tool for reclaiming public space for public use. Drawing from key concepts in environmental psychology, narrative psychology, and community psychology, the proposed framework seeks to theorize the processes by which placemaking may contribute to transforming community narratives and building more inclusive, participatory, and democratic communities...
February 13, 2017: American Journal of Community Psychology
Bernadette Sánchez, Alison L Mroczkowski, Lynn C Liao, Adina C Cooper, Claudio Rivera, David L DuBois
The aim of this study was to examine the associations among mentoring relationship quality (i.e., relational and instrumental quality), racial discrimination and coping efficacy with racial discrimination. Three social support models were tested, including the stress buffering, support mobilization, and support deterioration models. Participants were 257 urban, low-income Latina/o high school students, who completed surveys in both 9th and 10th grades. While controlling for gender and coping efficacy with discrimination in 9th grade, results supported the social support deterioration model...
February 11, 2017: American Journal of Community Psychology
Terri Friedline, Stacia West, Nehemiah Rosell, Joyce Serido, Soyeon Shim
This study examines the extent of emergent, outstanding credit card debt among young adult college students and investigates whether any associations existed between this credit card debt and the characteristics of the communities in which these students grew up or lived. Using data (N = 748) from a longitudinal survey and merging community characteristics measured at the zip code level, we confirmed that a community's unemployment rate, average total debt, average credit score, and number of bank branch offices were associated with a young adult college student's acquisition and accumulation of credit card debt...
January 31, 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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