Standard Article

Community Psychology

  1. Leonard A. Jason,
  2. Nicole Porter

Published Online: 30 JAN 2010

DOI: 10.1002/9780470479216.corpsy0205

Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology

Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology

How to Cite

Jason, L. A. and Porter, N. 2010. Community Psychology. Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology. 1–2.

Author Information

  1. DePaul University

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 30 JAN 2010


Community psychology is the study of the interaction between individuals and all of the levels of their environment (Dalton, Elias, & Wandersman, 2007). Community psychologists are interested in examining and improving the quality of life of individuals, communities, and society through collaborative research and action (Jason & Glenwick, 2002). Duffy and Wong (2000) characterized this field as emphasizing prevention over treatment; underscoring strengths and competencies over weaknesses; adopting an ecological perspective that examines the relationships among people and their environment; valuing and respecting diversity and differences; stressing empowerment, which involves enhancing the processes by which people gain control over their lives; emphasizing action research and social change, which provide more alternatives; stressing collaboration with other disciplines; examining how social support can act as a buffer against stress; and focusing on interventions that build a sense of community.