This course surveys the principles and applications of community psychology, emphasizing person-environment interactions and societal/cultural impacts upon individual and community functioning. Attention is given to community-based interventions that facilitate individual and community competence and empowerment, prevent disorder, and promote health and social change. Students select and research an issue of their choice (such as, mental illness, violence, alcohol or substance abuse, HIV/AIDS, discrimination) utilizing a community psychology lens.
- Acquire an understanding of the methods and values of community psychology and how it differs from community mental health and other subfields of psychology.
- Be able to apply their learning to a specific social problem that they identify in their community.
- Become aware of the various roles community psychologists play.
- Become familiar with innovative programs and practices geared towards prevention and empowerment of disenfranchised groups.
- Begin to think in terms of prevention of problems and alternatives to individually oriented services.
- Develop an understanding of the effects of societal, cultural, and environmental influences on psychological and community well-being.
- Explore the relationship between people and their environments, and consider ways of improving this relationship.
- Employ the methods and data that historians and social and behavioral scientists use to investigate the human condition.
- Examine social institutions and processes across a range of historical periods and cultures.
- Use and critique alternative explanatory systems or theories.
- Develop and communicate alternative explanations or solutions for contemporary social issues.