American Journal of Community Psychology (AM J COMMUN PSYCHOL )

Publisher: American Psychological Association. Division of Community Psychology, Springer Verlag


American Journal of Ccommunity Psychology published in association with the Society for Community Research and Action: The Division of Community Psychology of the American Psychological Association offers quantitative and qualitative research on community psychological interventions at the social neighborhood organizational group and individual levels. Wide-ranging topics include individual and community mental and physical health; educational legal and work environment processes policies and opportunities; social welfare and social justice; studies of social problems; and evaluations of interventions. Contributions of eminent leaders in the field address such salient issues as prevention of problems in living promotion of emotional and physical health well-being and competence empowerment of marginal groups collective social action social networks institutional and organizational change and self and mutual help. Community-based interventions such as collaborative research advocacy consultation training and planning are also featured.

  • Impact factor
  • 5-year impact
  • Cited half-life
  • Immediacy index
  • Eigenfactor
  • Article influence
  • Website
    American Journal of Community Psychology website
  • Other titles
    American journal of community psychology
  • ISSN
  • OCLC
  • Material type
    Periodical, Internet resource
  • Document type
    Journal / Magazine / Newspaper, Internet Resource

Publisher details

Springer Verlag

  • Pre-print
    • Author can archive a pre-print version
  • Post-print
    • Author can archive a post-print version
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    • Author's pre-print on pre-print servers such as
    • Author's post-print on author's personal website immediately
    • Author's post-print on any open access repository after 12 months after publication
    • Publisher's version/PDF cannot be used
    • Published source must be acknowledged
    • Must link to publisher version
    • Set phrase to accompany link to published version (see policy)
    • Articles in some journals can be made Open Access on payment of additional charge
  • Classification
    ​ green

Publications in this journal

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Drawing on resilience theories, this study examined the individual and community factors of Israeli lesbians, gays, bisexuals, queers, and questioning (LGBQs) that contribute to positive mental health and the degree to which individual and community protective factors mitigate the adverse effect of risk factors for poor mental health. Differences in resilience factors between LGBQ youth and adults were explored. Data were collected on 890 LGBQ youth and adults. Findings emphasize the role of community-level resilience factors in the lives of LGBQs, and that these support systems differ slightly between the two age groups. Among youth, family support was both a strong predictor for well-being and a protective factor for mental distress. Although family support was found as a resilience factor among adults as well, other community-level factors (friends’ support, LGBT connectedness and having steady partner) were found as protective factors for poorer mental health. These findings suggest for efforts on fostering familial support for LGBQ youth and a multi-level system that offers support at the familial, peer, relationship and community levels for both LGBQ youth and adults.
    American Journal of Community Psychology 12/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Research on the effects of adolescent employment on primarily middle-class youth suggests that intense employment, working more than 15 or 20 hours during the school year, is associated with increased participation in risky behavior. Despite these findings, scholars who focus on the development of youth living in low-income urban areas often hypothesize that adolescent employment will have beneficial effects on this population. There is some evidence that adolescent employment is associated with increased educational achievement and adult employment for low-income urban youth. The impact of adolescent employment on future engagement in risky behavior across levels of neighborhood deprivation and employment intensity was investigated on a sample of 1,057 adolescents from the Project on Human Development in Chicago Neighborhoods, a longitudinal study of neighborhood effects on development. After controlling for individual characteristics, intense employment during adolescence did predict increased use of cigarettes and alcohol and having a greater number of sexual partners 2 years after employment was measured. There were no significant interactions between neighborhood SES and adolescent employment status on involvement in risky behavior. These findings suggest that intense adolescent employment is associated with detrimental developmental outcomes for youth regardless neighborhood context.
    American Journal of Community Psychology 12/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: The Elluam Tungiinun and Yupiucimta Asvairtuumallerkaa studies evaluated the feasibility of a community intervention to prevent suicide and alcohol abuse among rural Yup’ik Alaska Native youth in two remote communities. The intervention originated in an Indigenous model of protection, and its development used a community based participatory research process. Feasibility assessment aimed to assess the extent to which (1) the intervention could be implemented in rural Alaska Native communities, and (2) the intervention was capable of producing measurable effects. Scales maximally sensitive to change were derived from earlier measurement work, and the study contrasted implementation process and outcomes across the two communities. In one community, medium dose response effects (d = .30–.50), with dose defined as number of intervention activities attended, were observed in the growth of intermediate protective factors and ultimate variables. In the other community, medium dose effects were observed for one intermediate protective factor variable, and small dose effects were observed in ultimate variables. Differences across communities in resources supporting intervention explain these contrasting outcomes. Results suggest implementation in these rural Alaska settings is feasible when sufficient resources are available to sustain high levels of local commitment. In such cases, measureable effects are sufficient to warrant a prevention trial.
    American Journal of Community Psychology 09/2014; 54(1-2).
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    ABSTRACT: There is a disagreement in place-based research regarding whether objective indicators or individual perceptions of environments are better predictors of well-being. This study assessed environmental influences on well-being for 373 individuals with psychiatric disabilities living independently in 66 neighborhoods in the southeastern United States. Three questions were examined utilizing random effects models: (1) How much variance in personal and neighborhood well-being can be explained by neighborhood membership? (2) What is the relationship between participant perceptions of neighborhood quality and researcher ratings of neighborhood quality? and (3) What is the relative influence of individual perceptions, perceptions aggregated by neighborhood, and researcher ratings of neighborhood quality in predicting personal and neighborhood well-being? Results indicate that individual perceptions of neighborhood quality were more closely related to well-being than either aggregated perceptions or researcher ratings. Thus, participants' perceptions of their neighborhoods were more important indicators of their well-being than objective ratings made by researchers. Findings have implications for measurement approaches and intervention design in placed-based research.
    American Journal of Community Psychology 06/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: The consequences of alcohol use disorder (AUD) and suicide create immense health disparities among Alaska Native people. The People Awakening project is a long-term collaboration between Alaska Native (AN) communities and university researchers seeking to foster health equity through development of positive solutions to these disparities. These efforts initiated a research relationship that identified individual, family, and community protective factors from AUD and suicide. AN co-researchers next expressed interest in translating these findings into intervention. This led to development of a strengths-based community intervention that is the focus of the special issue. The intervention builds these protective factors to prevent AUD and suicide risk within AN youth, and their families and communities. This review provides a critical examination of existing literature and a brief history of work leading to the intervention research. These work efforts portray a shared commitment of university researchers and community members to function as co-researchers, and to conduct research in accord with local Yup'ik cultural values. This imperative allowed the team to navigate several tensions we locate in a convergence of historical and contemporary ecological contextual factors inherent in AN tribal communities with countervailing constraints imposed by Western science.
    American Journal of Community Psychology 06/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Contemporary social science paints a bleak picture of inner-city relational life. Indeed, the relationships of low-income, urban-residing Americans are represented as rife with distress, violence and family disruption. At present, no body of social scientific work systematically examines the factors that promote loving or selfless interactions among low-income, inner-city American individuals, families and communities. In an effort to fill that gap, this ethnographic study examined the motivations for altruism among a sample of adults (n=40) who reside in an economically distressed housing community (i.e., housing project) in New York City. Content analyses of interviews indicated that participants attributed altruism to an interplay between 14 motives that were then ordered into four overarching categories of motives: (1) needs-centered motives, (2) norm-based motives deriving from religious/spiritual ideology, relationships and personal factors, (3) abstract motives (e.g., humanism), and (4) sociopolitical factors. The implications of these findings are discussed.
    American Journal of Community Psychology 03/2009; 43(1):71-84.
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    ABSTRACT: The effects of partnership between Schizophrenics Anonymous (SA, a mutual-help organization) and the Mental Health Association in Michigan (MHAM, a professionally staffed advocacy organization) on SA's growth and development were explored. Following the initiation of a formal partnership, SA groups were more available throughout the state, more likely to be associated with formal mental health settings, and less likely to have leaders who had been participants in other SA groups. Groups with consumer leaders had significantly greater longevity than groups with professional leaders. Changes in the organizational structure and process of SA were also identified. SA leaders reported that SA moved from a collective to a more bureaucratic structure. As a result, there was greater consistency, administrative capacity, and response capacity. This enhanced capacity came with costs reported by SA leaders. The leadership role of SA members became less defined. SA members expressed concerns about the more hierarchical structure of SA's organization, decreased consumer control, increased professional involvement in SA, and an excessive focus on group development as opposed to group maintenance. Mental Health Association in Michigan staff reported that MHAM was also impacted by the partnership, both with regard to internal functioning and external perception. Implications for effective partnerships between mutual-help and professional organizations are discussed.
    American Journal of Community Psychology 10/2008; 42(1-2):179-91.
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    ABSTRACT: One distinctive approach to community psychology intervention research involves finding ways to contribute to the development of communities. Ecological inquiry is a primary theoretical framework for this work. The purpose of this paper is to explore how the spirit of ecological inquiry may be expressed in the descriptions of how we design, conduct, and evaluate community interventions. We first elaborate a set of criteria as a heuristic framework for carrying out and documenting community intervention writing, theory, and action. We then pilot the application of these criteria to explore the presence of an ecological emphasis within intervention studies published in the AJCP between 1994 and 2002. This exercise helped illuminate the extent to which an ecological perspective is reflected in intervention accounts, and select intervention accounts that reflect a substantial ecological emphasis are described. Further, this review highlights the areas of our written work which contain fewer makers of ecological inquiry, as with the relevant exclusion of citizens in formative intervention roles. We conclude with a series of reflections about constraints on published intervention accounts and recommendations for those interested in furthering the spirit of ecological inquiry through their research and action commitments to community development.
    American Journal of Community Psychology 09/2008; 42(1-2):60-78.
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    ABSTRACT: Child behavior problems have been identified as being responsible for the greatest reduction in quality of life for children between ages 1 and 19. In this study, we examine whether neighborhood social processes are associated with differences in child behavior problems in an economically and racially diverse sample of 405 urban-dwelling first grade children and whether parenting behavior mediates and/or moderates the effects of neighborhoods. Furthermore, we examine whether neighborhood social processes play the same role with regards to child behavior problems at differing levels of neighborhood economic impoverishment. Results of multivariate multilevel regression analyses indicate that a high negative social climate is associated with greater internalizing problems. High potential for community involvement for children in the neighborhood was associated with fewer behavior problems, but only in economically impoverished neighborhoods. Differences in parenting behavior did not appear to mediate neighborhood effects on behavior problems, and parenting characterized by a high degree of positive involvement was associated with fewer behavior problems in all types of neighborhoods.
    American Journal of Community Psychology 08/2008; 42(1-2):39-50.
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    ABSTRACT: The purpose of the paper is to reflect on value dilemmas in mental health consumer-run organizations and to discuss implications for research, policy, and practice. We review the roots of consumer-run organizations in the self-help movement and the psychiatric survivor liberation movement, focusing on the distinctive values espoused by consumer-run organizations. We also discuss evidence-based and value-based approaches to mental health policy formulation and mental health reform, noting the particular importance of value-based approaches and the role that consumer-run organizations can play in mental health reform. Based on our experiences conducting a participatory action research study of four mental health consumer-run organizations, we identify and examine several value dilemmas, discuss the lessons that we learned about these value dilemmas, and note their implications for future directions in research, policy, and practice.
    American Journal of Community Psychology 08/2008; 42(1-2):192-201.