Academic Settings

Refers to collegiate environments where teaching and research activities take place.

Action-Oriented Research

Research that generates knowledge through participatory university/community partnerships in the hope of bringing about social change.

Active Citizen Participation

Assures a higher level of involvement in partnerships involving both community psychologists and community members.


In Community Psychology terms, activism is any action taken in an effort to bring about second-order change to address an injustice in society.

Acute Stressors

Observable stressful events that are time-limited.


Focuses on interactions between persons and their environments to better understand why behavior that is effective in one setting may not be useful in others.

Adaptive Coping

Refers to the effectiveness of a given coping response within a given context and for a given challenge or problem that the individual experiences as stressful.


Advocacy involves active promotion of a cause or principle involving actions that lead to a selected goal.

Agenda Setting

The process by which social problems and the solutions to these problems gain or lose the attention of policymakers or the public.


The developmental changes and transitions that comes with being a child, adolescent, or adult.

Alternative Settings

A novel, new community of people that are allowed to live freely and pursue what matters on the individual and group levels.


Anything preceding a behavior that signals the likelihood of a consequence if the behavior is performed.

Applied Behavior Analysis

The application of principles of behavioral science to applied problems.


Individuals who experience significant and chronic stressor events and are at-risk for developing associate physiological (e.g., cardiovascular complications) and psychological (e.g., anxiety, depression) symptoms.

Avoidance Coping Style

Involves avoidant actions and cognitive avoidance, these strategies attempt to manage emotions by trying to avoid thinking about the stressor.

B. F. Skinner

An American psychologist known for his influential work in behavioral psychology.

Behavior Modification

A technique used to change the frequency or duration of a behavior.

Behavior Setting Theory

Natural or developed ecological environments where behaviors evolve over time. A process by which different types of settings can be expected to influence the behaviors of people within a variety of different types of situations.

Behavioral Analysis

A science of behavior focusing on the relationship between behavior and its consequences, resulting in a greater understanding of the principles of behavior that are observable and replicable.

Behavioral Community Psychology

The application of the principles of behavioral science to applied problems in community settings.


A research ethics principle that requires that researchers do no harm and maximize possible benefits, and they can do this by finding less risky methods to achieve research goals.

Biennial Conference

A conference held every two years by The Society for Community Research and Action.

Bottom-Up Approach

An approach to community change that originates with community members rather than experts.


A feeling of overall exhaustion that results from too much pressure and not enough sources of satisfaction or support.

Capacity Building

A process in which communities or organizations work to improve their collective skills and resources.


Also called a market economy, is an economic system in which a country's trade and industry are controlled by private owners for profit, rather than by the state.

Chronic Stressors

Persistent demands on an individual; typically open-ended, using up our resources in coping but not promising resolution.

Civil Servant

Someone employed by the government to work in the public sector to implement policies and laws.

Classical Conditioning

Refers to a procedure of learning in which a stimulus (e.g., food) is paired with a previously neutral stimulus (e.g., a bell) to shape behavior.

Clinical-Community Psychology

A type of doctoral program that provides students both clinical training, such as psychopathology, therapy, and assessment, as well as Community Psychology skills, such as consultation, evaluation, and community intervention.

Collaborative Partnership

A reciprocal relationship between two or more people with a shared goal in mind.

Collective Efficacy

The belief that the actions of the group can be successful in creating change.

Collective Wellness

Understanding and encouraging the state of good health for groups of people and communities.

Colonial Matrix of Power

Described in four interrelated domains: control of economy (land appropriation, exploitation of labor, control of natural resources); control of authority (institution, army); control of gender and sexuality (family, education) and control of subjectivity and knowledge (epistemology, education, and formation of subjectivity).


The extension of a nation's sovereignty over territory beyond its borders by the establishment of either settler colonies or administrative dependencies in which indigenous populations are directly ruled or displaced. Colonizing nations generally dominate the resources, labor, and markets of the colonial territory, and may also impose socio-cultural, religious, and linguistic structures on the conquered population.

Community Coalition

A set of organizations, institutions and community agents that cooperate to improve the living conditions of the community.

Community Empowerment

Empowerment occurring at the community level, in which members uses resources, develop skills, exert influence, and effectively organize to address the issues that matter to the community.

Community Intervention

Prevention or promotion programs that aim to promote behavioral change in defined community contexts to address social problems.

Community Mental Health Movement

A national movement in the 1960s to more efficiently and cost-effectively treat mental illness in community settings rather than solely in psychiatric hospitals.

Community Organizing

Engaging in actions in a collaborative way with other psychologists, professionals in other disciplines, community members, organizations, and local government.

Community Psychologist

A person who seeks to improve community well-being through a cycle of collaborative planning, action and research in partnership with local community members.

Community Psychology

A field that goes beyond an individual focus and integrates social, cultural, economic, political, environmental, and international influences to promote positive change, health, and empowerment at individual and systemic levels (

Community Psychology Competencies

The 18 competencies help define and clarify the unique combination of skills and values that differentiate community psychologists from other people working in community settings.

Community Psychology Practice Competence

Having the required skills to effectively engage in community psychology practice.

Community Readiness

Degree to which the community is prepared for the behavioral and social changes that are intended by the intervention.

Community Resilience

The collective ability of a defined group of people or geographic area to deal with change or adversity effectively.

Community Social Psychology

Some Community Psychology programs are embedded within a larger frame of social psychology, the study of how individuals are influenced by others.

Community Systems Approach

An approach that encompasses understanding the interrelated parts and dynamics of a community. Each part has its own organizing processes that influence, and in turn are influenced by, other parts. The total systems then are organized at a higher level that transcends the organizing process of any one part.

Community Toolbox

An online resource that provides detailed guides on how to work with organizations and communities to engage in social action, including information on assessing community needs and strengths, creating a model of change, designing plans, interventions, and applying for grants.

Community-Based Participatory Research

Research that involves an exchange of resources and ideas between researchers and the community members as a way of understanding that is guided by community needs, also known as "participatory action research."

Community-Centered Approach

Refers to designing an intervention or program with an awareness of community factors and active participation and input from community members.


A set of courses within a larger degree program that enables you to specialize in a discipline such as Community Psychology.

Conceptual Research

Research that is used to educate policymakers and stakeholders on social issues and propose possible solutions.


Using expertise and skills to provide advice, and support to other organizations looking to make decisions or change something within their organization.


The surroundings, circumstances, environment, background, or settings which determine, specify, or clarify the meaning of an event or other occurrence.

Contextual Factors

The individual, psychological, familial, community, and societal factors that influence people.

Continuing Education Opportunities

Advanced education programs, courses, webinars, workshops, or conferences that provide additional training in particular Community Psychology-related issues or skill sets.


A design decision that dictates whether or not there is a control group (a group that is used for a baseline without intervention and to compare with the group of participants with the intervention).

Coping Models

Refer to approaches that explain the processes of how an individual handles a stressor(s). An individual’s coping model will be determined by cultural, social, and personality characteristics of people and will elicit a given set of coping strategies.

Coping Process

Ongoing cognitive and behavioral efforts to manage external or internal demands/problems/challenges perceived by the individual as stressful. The process for coping is influenced by the context where the demand arises, the time the stressors last, and how long before one responds.

Coping Styles

The personality dispositions or traits that transcend the influence of the situational context and time when choosing coping strategies (Lazarus, 1993).

Critical Awareness

Becoming knowledgeable of the injustices or the oppressions in an individual’s life and in society around them.

Critical Kinship

One seeing the opposition on an issue as connected to one's self through a common humanity. An empathic connection based on the universality of the human experience, which can reduce misunderstanding and hate.

Critical Psychology

This perspective seeks a psychological understanding within historical, social, cultural, and political contexts.

Cultural Competence

Possessing the skills and knowledge necessary to effectively work with members of a culture.

Cultural Humility

Ongoing process of learning about other cultures and being sensitive to cultural differences. Cultural humility includes acknowledging one’s own lack of knowledge about aspects of culture and recognizing power dynamics that impact the relationship.


Dynamic concept of shared meanings and experiences that are passed down over time and generations. Culture includes shared beliefs, values, practices, definitions and other elements that are expressed through family socialization, formal schooling, shared language, social roles, and norms for feeling, thinking, and acting.

Cycling of Resources

The systematic process of using and developing materials and resources that impact community growth and development.

Decolonial Theory

As a revolutionary epistemology, decolonial theory and methods feature critical insights into knowledges from subaltern voices concerned with how the implementation of modern technologies shape colonial structures, inequalities, the daily lives of the colonized, and resistance strategies.


Deconstruction is a concept central to postmodernism. It is a process of rigorously analyzing and making apparent the assumptions, judgments, and values that underlie social arrangements and intellectual ideas.

Deconstructing Power and Oppression

The reclaiming of power as liberation from oppression. Theoretical concepts such as empowerment and decolonization provide a baseline for community capacity building and self-determination.


Involves redefining the targets of prejudice and violence by making them seem less human (that is, less civilized or less sentient) than other people.

Dehumanizing Structures

Also known as power structures; structures created in society that benefit the oppressor class in the form of institutions, policies, influence, and other societal constructs.


The long-term process of reducing the number of psychiatric hospitals and replacing them with less isolatory and community-based alternatives for people with disabilities or mental illnesses.


Visible or hidden and temporary or permanent conditions that provide barriers or challenges, and impact individuals of every age and social group.


To deprive of a franchise, of a legal right, or of some privilege or immunity especially; to deprive of the right to vote.


The deliberate sharing of research findings to groups and communities that would benefit from said findings.


Refers to how much of the intervention they do deliver: for example, number of sessions, number of hours, time of application of the program, and so on.


Understanding the relationships between people and their social environments (e.g., families, groups, communities, and societies).

Ecological Psychology

A subfield of psychology related to Community Psychology which focuses on the real-world relationships between people and their environments.


Achievement of the results intended by the intervention (it is an indicator that the intervention works properly).

Elevator Speech

A short summary (about 2 minutes) that you share with anyone who asks about your work, interests, and/or the field of Community Psychology.

Emotion-Focused Coping Style

When an individual responds with efforts to manage the emotional response to a stressful event by focusing directly on it in a constructive way.

Empirical Analysis

The research whose results fall strictly on observable and verifiable evidence. It can be based on quantitative or qualitative methods.


The process of gaining power emerging at the individual, organizational, community, and societal levels, which are affected by peoples' previous experiences, skills, actions, and context.

Empowerment Theory

Originally described by Julian Rappaport (1981), empowerment refers to the capacity for individual growth, self-determination and autonomy through the prescribed use and access of community resources.

Ethical and Reflective Practice

Engaging in thinking and reflecting upon community work to ensure it is efficient, productive, and ethical from a moral and science-based framework.


One’s social identity based on culture of origin, ancestry, or affiliation with a cultural group.


The act of judging another culture based on preconceptions that are found in the values and standards of one's own culture.


The use of different research methods to understand person-environment interactions and also determine whether community interventions have been successful.


The degree to which the outcome data supports a scientific assertion.


An approach to intervention based on research that systematically demonstrates its effectiveness.


The level of competence whereby students or CP practitioners have engaged in supervised practice, in performing the tasks related to the competency (Dalton & Wolfe, 2012).


The level of competence whereby community psychology practitioners have developed further experience and continuing education in a competency to the extent that they are able to teach and supervise others (Dalton & Wolfe, 2012).


Exploitation occurs when one social group is able to take for itself what is produced by another group.


The level of competence whereby students or community psychology practitioners have become aware of the competency, understand its value, and know how it can be applied in community psychology practice (Dalton & Wolfe, 2012).


Decreasing undesirable behaviors by stopping the delivery of reinforcers that follow the behavior.

Federal Agencies

Government organizations that are set up to oversee specific systems at the national level such as education, housing, and criminal justice.


The degree to which a program is implemented as designed by the developers.

First-Order Change

Involves minor changes that lead to small, short term improvements by focusing exclusively on the individuals.


Socially-constructed perceptions of what it means to be male or female in our society and how those genders may be reflected and interpreted by society.

Gender Expression

A person’s external expression of being male, female, or other.

Gender Identity

A person’s inner psychological sense of being male, female, or another category.


The process of the movement and integration of local and national economies, including workers and governments, into a worldwide market with the goal of creating a global market economy.

Government Setting

A legislative, executive or judiciary department, agency or commission that establishes and enforces laws and regulations, and provides basic infrastructure, health, education, public safety, and commerce/trade to supports its citizenry.

Graduate Record Exam (GRE)

The Graduate Record Examination is a standardized test that is an entry prerequisite for the majority of graduate schools and universities in the United States.


Individuals at the ground level of a community group or an organization are brought into key roles in intervention design and planning.

Health Care Setting

Organization that provides health care or related services (e.g., health focused research).

Help-Seeking Coping Strategies

When an individual responds by using other people as a resource to assist in finding a solution, understand the problem, or express feelings of distress related to the problem.


When a person who engages with underprivileged, disadvantaged populations and delivers critical solutions or consultations.


An ideal “set point” that depends on the person and context. The homeostatic process is a tendency toward a relative equilibrium between independent processes.

Iatrogenic Effects

Resulting in unintended consequences.


The political and economic control of one nation over another.


Sequence of actions that goes from the planned on paper to actions in natural community contexts. Good implementation depends on the skills of the community psychologists involved and the degree of community readiness.

Implementation Science

The study of the optimal methods for the adoption of successful interventions and programs by community settings.


The number of new cases during a specified period of time.

Indicated Prevention

Programming that targets people who have detectable signs of maladjustment that foreshadow more significant mental disorders or who have biological markers that are linked to disorder.


Native, or aboriginal, meaning belonging to a locality. Native implies birth or origin in a place or region and may suggest compatibility with it.

Individual Empowerment

A process in which one believes in one’s capabilities and develops skills to take control over aspects of one’s life.

Individualistic Perspective

A focus on the individual where the influence of larger environmental or societal factors is ignored.


New knowledge or information such as programs or policies that could be useful to prevention efforts in the field.

Instrumental Research

Research used to persuade policymakers to adopt a specific policy.


Because everything is connected, changing one aspect of an environment will have many ripple effects.


The interrelated relationships between the factors in the ecological model and how they influence people adapting to their environments.

Interdisciplinary Collaboration

Scientists from multiple disciplines work together to try to understand complex social and community problems.

Interdisciplinary Programs

Programs that involve utilizing more than one academic approach to study and knowledge acquisition.

Internalized Racism

More than just a consequence of racism, internalized racism is a systemic oppression in reaction to racism that has a life of its own. In other words, just as there is a system in place that reinforces the power and expands the privilege of white people, there is a system in place that actively discourages and undermines the power of people and communities of color and mires us in our own oppression.


An intersectional approach takes into account the historical, environmental, socio-cultural, and political context and recognizes the unique experience of the individual based on the intersection and implications of all relevant grounds.

Intra-Organizational Strategies

Activities or actions that promote empowerment between departments or divisions within an organization.


A research ethics principle that indicates research should have similar benefits, risks and burdens to all populations.


In community psychology practice, the ability to enhance the capacity of individuals and groups to lead effectively, by collaboratively engaging, energizing, and mobilizing individuals and groups regarding an issue of shared importance (Dalton & Wolfe, 2012).

Learning Theory

A method of learning that occurs when individuals respond to environmental factors or stimuli.


Analyses that emphasizes social concern for the poor and the political emancipation for oppressed peoples.

Logic Model

A hypothesized description of the process, step by step, of how a prevention or promotion intervention should work.

Medical Model

In psychology, the medical model involves a therapist delivering one-on-one psychotherapy to patients. In medicine, it involves physicians providing treatments for one patient at a time.


The ability to assist community members to identify personal strengths and social and structural resources they can develop further and use to enhance empowerment, community engagement, and leadership.


A method for statistically summarizing the findings of multiple studies to quantify an average effect and identify possible predictors of variability of outcomes.

Midwest Ecological Community Psychology Conference

An annual Community Psychology conference organized and led by students in the Midwest. Other regional conferences include the Southeast, Northeast, and Eastern ECO conferences, as well as the Community Research and Action in the West Conference.

Mixed Methods Research

Thoughtful combining of qualitative and quantitative data collection methods.

Mutual Education

Liberating education between psychologists and community members accomplished through a cycle of open dialogue, dissemination, dialogue, repeat.


A person’s status of belonging to a specific nation by birth or citizenship.

Needs-Based Strategies

Addressing the needs of a population, such as adequate health care or racial, economic, social, and educational justice.

Non-Profit Organization

Local or national organizations that focus on a specific cause. They invest their income back into the organization to further their cause as opposed to distributing the earnings to shareholders, leaders, or members.

Non-Traditional Community Psychologists

A person who pursues training in other academic fields or have lived experiences as a community advocate.

Operant Conditioning

A method of learning where an individual makes an association between a specific behavior and a consequence.


The group of individuals who do not benefit from the power structures in society and lack basic resources, rights, treatment, and opportunity in society.


Oppression can be described as the collusion of dehumanization and exploitation.


The group of individuals who have the power, influence, and power structures in place that further their goals while taking away the rights, needs, and resources of others.

Organizational Empowerment

A process in which an organization exerts its control and influence to facilitate the empowerment of its members. The process includes supporting organization members, building coalitions with other organizations, and making changes in the community around the organization.


The “wear and tear” on the body when stress response is triggered too often and/or remains hyperactive too long.


A seemingly contradictory set of ideas that are intertwined, and must often be embraced when enacting social change.


A pool of people that are volunteering or being paid to participate in a study.

Participatory Efficacy

The belief that you can effectively participate in community organizations.


The tendency of a member of a political party to strongly support their party’s policies and have a reluctance to compromise with members of other political parties.


Working with legislative, executive, or judicial branches of government to bring about change at the local, community, and societal levels.

Policy Advocacy

Policy work that is guided by set of principles and that involves the active promotion of these principles (e.g., social justice).

Policy Evaluation and Revision

The last phase of the policy process in which a policy is evaluated to determine whether it successfully addressed a social issue, and whether it can be improved to more effectively address the social issue.

Policy Formation and Adoption

The second phase of the policy process in which a policy solution to address a social issue is adopted.

Policy Implementation

The third phase of the policy process in which a specific policy is executed.

Policy Stream

The potential solutions that can address a social issue and the costs of these solutions.

Policymaking Process

A four step cyclical process that illustrates how a policy gains the attention of policymakers, is adopted, implemented, and revised.

Political Stream

The level of public concern to actually devote time and resources to one of these topics and possible solutions.


A group of individuals that share a characteristic which is the focus of scientific research.

Positive Reinforcement

When something rewarding happens after the onset of a behavior.


A test designed to gauge participants’ scores after an intervention.

Power From

Is the ability to resist coercion and unwanted commands/demands.

Power Over

The ability to compel or dominate others, control resources, and enforce commands.

Power To

The ability of people to pursue personal and/or collective goals and to develop their own capacities.

Practice Settings

Environments that allow for the application of Community Psychology practice principles in an applied environment.

Practicum/Fieldwork/Internship Experience

A key component of undergraduate and graduate Community Psychology programs that involves supervised, hands-on learning through work in a community setting that is also helpful to that setting.


An approach that assesses the truth of meaning of theories or beliefs in terms of the success of their practical application.


A repetitive process of turning a theory, lesson, or skill into an actualized action.


A test designed to gauge participants’ baseline scores.


The total number of cases in a population.


The focus on actions that stop problems before they happen by boosting individual skills as well as by engaging in environmental change.

Primary Prevention

Interventions designed to prevent the onset or future incidence of a specific problem.


Unearned advantages that individuals have based on membership in a dominant group.

Problem Stream

The range of social issues that may affect a given population.

Problem-Focused Coping Style

When the individuals respond with cognitive and behavioral efforts at managing or altering the problem causing distress.

Professional Development

A way to stay current and grow your knowledge and skills, network, and establish and grow connections with colleagues in your field. This can be done through attendance of conferences, webinars, and workshops.


Empowering individuals to increase control of their health through literacy and programming.

Protective Factors

Variables that are related to a decreased risk for developing a disease or a social problem.

Psychological Empowerment

A process by which one first increases critical awareness and understanding of the power dynamics that occur at multiple levels in one's life. To address these power dynamics, one then develops skills for gaining control over affected aspects of one's life.


The relationship between thought and behavior, and social factors.

Public Policy

The laws, regulations, course of action, and funding priorities issued by the government to address a social issue at the local, state, and national level.


A consequence associated with a behavior or group of behaviors that decreases the rate or likelihood of the behavior in the future.


Methods involving collecting data that typically consists of words that provide comprehensive descriptions of participants’ experiences.


Methods involving collecting data in the form of numbers using standardized measures in an attempt to produce generalizable findings.


Social construct based on observable physical criteria, such as skin color or other physical features. Racial differences include economic, historical, and other social factors that contribute to a system of disadvantage and privilege.

Random Assignment

A design decision that involves the random assignment of participants into either an experimental group or a control group.

Reclaiming of Power

The process of claiming and redefining identities; the process can includes naming the places where one needs to take charge and act more powerfully, plan changes and take action that reconnect the person with their inherent power.


The degree to which a study produces results that prove to be consistent, no matter who is conducting the research.


Shared systems of beliefs and values, symbols, feelings, actions, and experiences that often focus on relationships with the divine.


The ability to replicate a study’s findings.

Research Design

A collection of decisions a researcher(s) makes tailored to what is being studied.


A dynamic process characterized by positive outcomes despite adversity or stress.

Resource Provision

Ensuring a community is provided with a resource it is lacking.

Respect for Diversity

Acknowledgment, acceptance, and respect for the full range of human characteristics in their social, historical, and cultural contexts.

Respect for Persons

A research ethics principle that states children, prisoners, and pregnant individuals are considered vulnerable populations, and they require special protections when involved in research.

Rights-Based Strategies

Addressing the rights of a population, such as legal, political, and social justice.

Risk Factors

Variables that are related to an increased risk for developing a disease or problem.

Second-Order Change

Involves initiating more structural, long term, and sustainable transformational changes.

Secondary Prevention

Early intervention that decreases the prevalence.

Seeking-Understanding Coping Style

When an individual responds by finding meaning and understanding, not seeking to put a positive interpretation on the problem, but to learn.

Selective Prevention

Programming that targets people who are at high risk for the development of a disorder but do not show any indication of disorder.


An internal belief in one’s innate ability to achieve a desired goal.


An examination of one’s own true motivations, flaws, virtues, and willingness to sacrifice when engaging in activism.

Sense of Community

An individual's perception of similarity to others, giving to others what one expects from them, and the feeling that one is part of a larger dependable and stable group.


Biological descriptor involving chromosomes and internal/external reproductive organs.

Sexual Orientation

A person’s emotional, romantic, erotic, and spiritual attractions toward another in relation to their own sex or gender.

Shaping of Behavior

A complex set of procedures that results in a change in topography, or the sequence, of behaviors.


A strategy for adapting to stress that requires individuals to first shift their views of the problem and themselves within the context of the problem/stressors.

Small Wins

Progress that occurs when breaking down a goal into manageable parts.

Social Class

Social construct based on a person’s income or material wealth, educational status, and/or occupational status.

Social Climate Theory

Understand how people adapt to their social contexts, how they survive traumatizing contexts, and how contexts adapt to persons within that context; addressing the power and fragility of social settings.

Social Justice

Involves the fair distribution of wealth, opportunities, and privileges that provide equal opportunities for education, healthcare, work, and housing.

Social Network Models

A method for identifying how relationships may influence attitudes and behaviors.

Societal Empowerment

Empowerment occurring at the societal level; considers the equitable distribution of resources and access to power broadly across groups.

Society for Community Research and Action (SCRA)

SCRA is the official organization of Community Psychology in the United States, yet it also supports global connections and goals, with about 20% of its membership international.


Focuses on an individual’s relationship with a higher power and a quest for meaning.


Those who have something to gain or lose from a study.

Stimulus Control

The process in which the rules (antecedents) in an environment become associated with consequences, and then make a behavior or group of behaviors more or less likely to happen in the future.

Strength-Based Approach

Focuses on building competencies and skills, rather than fixing deficits.


The process by which we perceive and respond to certain events that we appraise as threatening or challenging.

Structural Violence

Systemic violence or oppression perpetrated by those who have power and influence in society toward those who are disadvantaged by society.


Refers to the fact that communities are in a constant process of change, and this process causes changing requirements for adaptation.

Support-Seeking Strategies

Strategies for coping with stress, which include seeking advice or information, or direct assistance from others.


Focusing on the commitment to the long-term goal of a campaign by planning for adjustments, adaptations, collaboration, and unexpected barriers in the activism process.

Swampscott Conference

The 1965 inaugural conference in Swampscott, Massachusetts that led to the creation of the field of Community Psychology.

Systems of Domination

A “social order or pattern that has attained a certain state or property…and [owes] [its] survival to relatively self-activating social processes” (Jepperson, 1991, p. 145). In other words, institutions are enduring, historical facets of social life that shape our behavior. Examples of institutions include the family, marriage, media, medicine, law, education, the state, and work. These institutions can be said to structure thought and behavior, in that they prescribe rules for interaction and inclusion/exclusion and norms for behavior, parcel out resources between groups, and often times rely on formal regulations (including laws, policies, and contracts).

Systems Perspective

A consideration of individual, group, community, and ecological contextual factors when examining a phenomenon of interest.


Across time.

Tertiary Prevention

Implementing programming after the disorder has occurred.

Theory-Practice Integration

Education style used predominantly in graduate level training, incorporating both theory and concepts pertaining to a subject, as well as getting hands-on training in the field.

Third Way of Empowerment

Empowerment as an iterative process that will ultimately increases the number of opportunities for people to control their own lives.

Top-Down Approach

An approach to community change that originates with experts, community leaders, and other individuals in power.


Fundamentally changing a community and its structures such that resources and power are more equitably distributed.

Universal Prevention

Correlates of primary prevention; targets all the people in a given population.


A term that refers to physical and psychological health, as well as attainment of personal goals and well-being.


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Introduction to Community Psychology Copyright © 2019 by Leonard A. Jason; Olya Glantsman; Jack F. O'Brien; and Kaitlyn N. Ramian (Editors) is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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