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"An exchange of ideas, information and resources for community practicioners." Learn more here...

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"The Global Journal of Community Psychology Practice is devoted to providing high quality and practical information on community practice." Learn more here...

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Featured Articles from Around the Globe

Overview of Articles in the Special Issues Overview of Articles in the Special Issues

James H. Dalton

Below I provide a brief overview and commentary on each article in these special issues of the Global Journal of Community Psychology Practice. In describing each article below, I have noted the practice competencies highlighted by the authors, and also listed in brackets any other competencies that seemed to me to be especially involved in their work. I also listed any Proposed Competencies specified in each article.

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The Community Psychologist as a Reflective Plumber The Community Psychologist as a Reflective Plumber

Caterina Arcidiacono (Italy)

Peer Reviewed

The article describes community psychologists’ competencies, emphasizing the importance of ecological and systemic perspectives that allow them to deal with individual psychological issues framed in social and cultural domains. Furthermore, it gives evidence of the specific knowledge that the community psychology approach brings to the professional activity: its aims and methodologies. Finally, it describes the community psychology backbone, depicting some peculiar competencies that characterize the interventions of community psychologists in various domains that allow them to use their psychological background in different contexts.

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Community Health Improvement and the Community Psychology Competencies Community Health Improvement and the Community Psychology Competencies

Jonathan P. Scaccia, Noé Rubén Chávez, Lena Hatchett, Kymberly Byrd, Shanika Blanton, Kassandra Alia, Laura Jean Brennan, Paul Howard, Niñon Lewis, Somava Stout (USA)

Peer Reviewed

Community health improvement initiatives are strongly influenced by the local context in which they take place. Community coalitions of diverse stakeholders are expected to determine the needs of their population of interest, select an appropriate strategy, implement with quality, and evaluate for effectiveness. Many public health initiatives look toward behavioral scientists with experience in collaborating with community members. The competencies that community psychologists possess make them particularly useful contributors in these initiatives, especially when the projects explicitly focus on increasing health equity. This paper describes how community psychologists can contribute to community health improvement work by sharing our experiences in the Spreading Community Accelerators through Learning and Evaluation (SCALE) initiative funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

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Strengthening community psychology in Europe through increasing professional competencies for the new Territorial Community Psychologists Strengthening community psychology in Europe through increasing professional competencies for the new Territorial Community Psychologists

Donata Francescato and Bruna Zani (Italy)

Peer Reviewed

n this paper, we first discuss the “political activist” model proposed by critical community psychologists and the specific competencies needed to play this role. We then illustrate the recent passing of regional laws in Italy that create the new figure of the “territorial community psychologist,” who works directly with the services of city municipalities. Then we discuss if in Italy we need to make further progress in our training of community psychologists to better prepare them for this new role of territorial community psychologists. Finally, we consider if an integration of critical psychology and mainstream community psychology could contribute to strengthen community psychology in Europe.

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Integrating the 18 Community Psychology Practice Competencies into Doctoral Education Integrating the 18 Community Psychology Practice Competencies into Doctoral Education

Greg Meissen, Kyrah K. Brown, Ashlee Lien, Michael Lemke (USA)

Peer Reviewed

The establishment of the 18 Community Psychology Practice Competencies created the opportunity for faculty and students at Wichita State University to review the well-established curriculum that had served our doctoral program in community psychology. Further, the development and discussion around the 18 competencies within the field energized us and created curiosity about what our program could be. In a participatory manner involving students, faculty, and alumni, a town hall meeting and a survey were conducted within Wichita State University’s Community Psychology Doctoral Program to assess the current coverage of the 18 competencies and the desired level of coverage of the competencies in the future. 

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Learning Community Psychology Practice Competencies: Student Pathways through the Applied Community Psychology Specialization Learning Community Psychology Practice Competencies: Student Pathways through the Applied Community Psychology Specialization

Huda Bayaa, Claire Cahen, Angela Doss, Rachel Fusco, Rebecca Gordon, Gregor V. Sarkisian, & Sylvie Taylor (USA)

Peer Reviewed

Community psychology practice competencies provide a framework of skills students can learn to promote social change processes in communities. However, there is great overlap and cross-over of skill sets among some competencies. The complex nature of learning any competency will likely take multiple learning experiences to master and span years beyond a student’s exit from training to achieve expertise. This article explores five narrative accounts of how students and graduates learned selected community psychology practice competencies through their training in the Applied Community Psychology (ACP) specialization at Antioch University Los Angeles. 

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The System: A Multilevel Social Service Simulation The System: A Multilevel Social Service Simulation

Gregor V. Sarkisian (USA)

Peer Reviewed

Community psychology practice competencies emerged in an effort to provide guidance to the field of community psychology and training programs seeking to provide students with meaningful opportunities to develop a depth and breadth of practice skills. As a teacher of community psychology practice over the past eleven years, the author has consistently faced challenges in teaching the Ecological Perspectives, listed as number 1 under Foundational Principles – “The ability to articulate and apply multiple ecological perspectives and levels of analysis in community practice” (Dalton, & Wolfe, 2012, p. 10). This paper describes a multilevel social service simulation exercise as a teaching tool for community psychology practice competencies within an academic setting. 

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The Use of Community Psychology Competencies in a Fieldwork Practicum Sequence: A Tale of Two Graduate Programs The Use of Community Psychology Competencies in a Fieldwork Practicum Sequence: A Tale of Two Graduate Programs

Bernadette Sánchez, Tiffeny Jimenez, Judah Viola, Judith Kent, & Ray Legler (USA)

Peer Reviewed

The purpose of this paper is to provide a description of how the community psychology practice competencies are taught in the fieldwork practicum course at two PhD programs in community psychology. An overview of the educational approach and program goals are provided as well as a detailed description of how the course instructors utilize the practice competencies in the practicum courses and the kinds of projects that students conduct to learn the competencies. Comparison of the competencies addressed in each program and lessons learned are provided about program evaluation, graduate education training goals, and fieldwork sequence foci.

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Intersections of Competencies for Practice and Research in Community Psychology Intersections of Competencies for Practice and Research in Community Psychology

Victoria Faust, Mason G. Haber, Brian D. Christens, Ray Legler, & Members of the Council on Education (USA)

Peer Reviewed

Many community psychologists, combine elements of both practice and research in their work, and research skills are less represented in the practice competencies than other types of skills. Society for Community Research and Action’s Council on Education recently developed a set of Community Psychology Research Competencies to provide additional depth of understanding of the types of skills and knowledge associated with rigorous and impactful research in community psychology. This paper describes the research competencies and their development and considers them in the context of the existing practice competencies in the interests of expanding the understanding of how research and practice intersect in our training programs and our work in both academic and non-academic settings. 

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The Application of the Community Psychology Practice Competencies for Community Consulting Practice in the U.S. The Application of the Community Psychology Practice Competencies for Community Consulting Practice in the U.S.

Susan M. Wolfe and Ann Webb Price (USA)

Peer Reviewed

This article describes many of the competencies used for consulting with communities in the United States. It includes a description of each competency, how each is used, and tips for developing them. The article maintains that all community psychology consultants need expertise in foundational competencies such as sociocultural and cross- cultural competence and commitment to improving public welfare and social and racial justice. 

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Using the community psychology competencies to address sexual assault on a college campus Using the community psychology competencies to address sexual assault on a college campus

Daniel Clifford, Nicole M. Freund, Jasmine A., Douglas, Julia Siwierka, Anna Turosak, Rhonda K. Lewis, PhD, Jessica Drum, Deborah Ojeda-Leitner, Refika Sarionder, Anna Caroline Chinnes, & Paige Keller (USA)

Peer Reviewed

Sexual assault on college campuses is a national issue, with a recent report from the White House estimating that 20% of women will experience a sexual assault during college.  Students at Wichita State University formed a campus organization to bring visibility to both community psychology and address this important problem. Community Psychology Association members utilized focus groups with campus students, faculty, and staff to facilitate discussions on sexual assault, campus safety, and university and administrative accountability.  Content analysis revealed multiple themes that were used to generate a larger campus discussion and promote change in campus policies. This study highlights the importance of applying community psychology principles and concepts to research and action to ultimately have a positive and tangible impact on the local community. 

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Special Issue

From the Guest Editors

Part 2: Special Issue of GJCPP on Practice Competencies in Community Psychology and Their Applications

Vincent Francisco with co-editors Tom Wolff, Greg Meissen

It is our privilege to bring you part two of the special issue on competencies in community psychology practice. The analysis and articulation of the broader issues is as relevant in this issue as the previous one. The development of competencies is a milestone in any professional field of endeavor. It is difficult to do, as anyone who does curriculum development can attest. It also takes time, especially to develop language that is concise, measurable, and recognizable to relevant audiences. This two-part special issue contains articles that demonstrate the robustness of the list of competencies, and how useful (or not) they may be in various contexts. 

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