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PSYC 402 Preventive Psychology

Students in this course will learn about the theories and approaches to preventive psychology, a subfield of psychology that focuses on actions taken early to eliminate or minimize later problems. Through research and intervention, psychologists work with individuals, groups, communities and organizations to develop strategies and programs that work to prevent problems such as violence, HIV/AIDS, substance abuse, child abuse, obesity, and other behaviorally based social, mental health, and health issues. Emphasis is placed on students developing knowledge and skills relevant to creating and adapting prevention programs for use in culturally diverse communities. Topics may include: stress and coping theory/research; prevention and health promotion theories, research, and strategies; and other relevant community/social change strategies. (Prereq. PSYC363 or PSYC336)


4 Undergraduate credits

Effective August 20, 2011 to present

Learning outcomes


  • Analyze the effects of societal, cultural, and environmental influences on psychological and community well-being;
  • Understand the stress-coping process and the role of social support in buffering/mediating the relationship between stress and disease;
  • Apply relevant psychological theories to the prevention of problems and development of alternatives to individually oriented services (e.g. mutual help models, community and coalition building);
  • Identify and evaluate innovative programs and practices geared towards prevention and empowerment of disenfranchised groups;
  • Design a prevention/empowerment oriented community-based intervention that addresses a specific social problem that they identify in their community.