Community psychology is a sub-discipline of psychology which is concerned with the development of individuals in their community. Community psychologists focus on health promotion and prevention, rather than the treatment of individual psychopathologies. Developing the power to act is central to the practice of the community psychologists, as is the establishment of greater social justice. By promoting citizen participation and the development of a sens of community, community psychologists support social change and the creation of environments favorable to health, which respect human diversity and build on individual and collective strengths. For community psychologists, the causes of psychological problems do not only lie in individuals, but also in their environments (family, peer group, school or work environment, neighborhood, community, society). Interventions should therefore not aim to change people only (which can contribute to blaming the victim), but also to transform social systems and policies that harm health. Research and program evaluation are intervention tools for community psychologists that allow them to produce knowledge useful for improving practices and developing healthy communities. Research led by community psychologists is always carried out in close collaboration with community stakeholders.
To know more :
- Lavoie, F. et L. Brunson (2010). La pratique de la psychologie communautaire. Canadian Psychology. Vol. 51, No. 2, p. 96–105. – in French
- Nelson G. and Lavoie, F. (2010). Contributions of Canadian Community Psychology. Canadian Psychology. Vol. 51, No. 2, p. 79–88.
- Website of the Community Psychology Section of the Psychology Department of the University of Quebec in Montreal – in French
- Society for Community Research and Action
- What is Community Psychology? – communitypsychology.com
Other definitions :