Ecological Research to Promote Social Change
During the past quarter century, community psychologists have worked to make relevant contributions to human welfare in community settings and to effect social change. Working with and in schools, neighborhood organizations, religious institutions, social programs, and government agencies, the community psychologist has come to understand how social settings and social policy influence behavior and foster change that promotes individual health and well-being. Using a social ecological paradigm as their guiding framework, they focus on the interactions between persons and their environments, cultural diversity, and local empowerment for understanding organizational, community, and social change.
Community psychologists have relied on multiple methods of obtaining data but more often, they have had to develop new methodologies or adapt existing ones. These innovative methods have been recorded in the American Journal of Community Psychology throughout the years of its history and have changed the way that researchers in the field have gathered data.