The history of the field of community psychology is a history of psychologists promoting the use of social and behavioral sciences for the well-being of people and their communities. Community psychologists promote theory development and research to increase the understanding of human behavior in its social context. The field encourages the exchange of knowledge and skills in community research and action among community psychologists, other social scientists and citizens. Community psychologists emphasize the use of multicultural and pluralistic approaches to ensure that preventive and social programs are tailored to the particular needs and aspirations of persons from different cultural, social, and ethnic backgrounds.

History of Community Psychology

History of Community Psychology

Powerful social forces contributed to the founding of the field. World War II stimulated public awareness of the country’s domestic difficulties and was a catalyst to innovate mental health services. During this time, harassment of African Americans and women working in war plants on the home front was widely communicated in the media. It was increasingly difficult for any informed citizen to deny the widespread conditions of American life such as poverty, racism, and sexism. This new consciousness contributed to awareness among some social scientists that symptoms of personal stress were pervasive. In addition, there was an emerging consensus among investigators that social and environmental stress factors reduce autonomy, a sense of justice, and personal dignity. It also became clear in evaluating the mental health status of soldiers serving in the war that social and environmental conditions, such as being in battle and experiencing prolonged stress, contributed to a person expressing symptoms of inadequate coping and/or mental illness. Accompanying this greater realization that social factors contribute to mental health and illness was a mood of optimism in the United States as a result of the allied victory in World War II.

Within the Discussion Board area, write 400–600 words that respond to the following questions with your thoughts, ideas, and comments. This will be the foundation for future discussions by your classmates. Be substantive and clear, and use examples to reinforce your ideas.

You have been chosen to develop a community swimming pool program for children and senior citizens. Describe how each of the following research methods could help you determine the level of interest in the community:

  • Population and sampling
  • Correlation research
  • Experimental research
  • Quasi-experimental research

What are the strengths and limitations of each research method? In your opinion, which research method would be the most appropriate for determining the level of interest in the community for a new swimming pool program, and why?

Requirements: 400-600 words