John Eric Stewart
Examines prevention and promotion, the two fundamental intervention approaches of community psychology. Explores the strategies employed for each, and the array of phenomena, or variables, they address. Focuses on applications at the small group, community, and socio-cultural levels of analysis.
This course provides extended exploration and application of the two key intervention strategies for community psychology (and related fields): Prevention (with an emphasis on primary prevention) and Health Promotion (or “wellness,” sometimes empowerment). We will discuss the history, methods, theories, and tensions that characterize, distinguish, and intertwine risk-reduction (prevention) and strengths-enhancement (promotion) strategies for individual and community well-being. Following a community psychology orientation, the class will take an ecological or systems perspective, with a focus on setting/organizational, community, and institutional/sociocultural levels of analysis. In the first half of the quarter we will examine the basic principles, theoretical models, and research base of prevention and health promotion/wellness. In the second half, we will consider application of these ideas, the variety of specific strategies for intervention, and the social implications of accepting and implementing these approaches.
Student learning goals
students will develop a transactional, developmental and contextual understanding of human development and change
students will develop a sophisticated, systems-based understanding of problem definition and analysis
students will be able to apply skills and a knowledge base for evaluating research and theory relating to community and setting-level interventions
students will have a beginning toolkit for conceptualizing intervention strategies
General method of instruction
Exploration of topics will take the form of theoretical and empirical readings, lecture and class discussion, and your own research of and development of a proposal for an original prevention/promotion project.
Community Psychology or Risk and Resilience are recommended EXTREMELY strongly, either prior to or conncurrent with this course.
Class assignments and grading
Several short papers over the quarter that will address problems/goals, populations/settings, and theory/strategies of prevention/promotion (40%); these will build toward a final project (a program proposal,a focused research paper, or a program evaluation)(40%). Participation in group work and class discussion will count for 20%
Grades will be assigned based on quality of engagement and the quality of work.