The Community Psychologist

A Publication of the Society for Community Research and Action
Division 27 of the American Psychological Association

Volume 50 Number 3 
Summer 2017

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Susan McMahon

DePaul University

Reflections on the Past Year

It was an amazing Biennial Conference! I always feel rejuvenated following our conference – in my view, it is the best conference in the world.  What makes it so great?  Our values, passion, actions, tools, research – they are all inspiring, yet I value the people most of all.


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Daniel Cooper and Tiffany McDowell 
Adler University, Chicago

Welcome to Spring! As we transition into the next season it is a good time to reflect on the great work happening in our field. The Spring issue features several projects from community psychologists working in a variety of settings. Olya Glantsman and Nicole Freund provide us with an overview of the Practice Council and upcoming initiatives to support practitioners over the next year. From CERA’s column on negotiating intersections of identity to mentor students, to Gloria Levin’s profile of Kyrah Brown, we see the multiple ways that community psychologists challenge and shape the contexts in which they work. Coming off the EC midwinter meeting, we hope to provide more opportunities for you to share the great research and practical work you are doing. We look forward to seeing you all at the upcoming Biennial!

Dan and Tiffany

Council of Education Programs

Edited by Raymond Legler
National Louis University

The 2016 Survey of Graduate Programs in Community Psychology: Findings on Competencies in Research & Practice and Challenges of Training Programs

Written by Mason G. Haber, Department of Psychiatry, University of Massachusetts Medical School & Judge Baker Children’s Center; Zachary Neal, Michigan State University; Brian Christens, Victoria Faust, and Lisa Jackson, University of Wisconsin-Madison; Laura Kohn Wood, University of Miami; Taylor Bishop Scott, University of North Carolina at Charlotte; Raymond Legler, National Louis University; and the Members of the Society for Community Research and Action Council of Education


International Affairs

Understanding home: a reflection with ethnic young women who are victims of sex-trafficking in Chiang Mai, Thailand

Written by Yui Sum Poon
Wheaton College

The trafficking of women is a major problem that exists in Thailand, with a realistic estimate of around 100,000 and 200,000 female sex workers throughout the country (Peracca, 1998). Women-trafficking can emerge through various forms, including both voluntary and involuntary situations, as well as rural-urban migrations and cross-border migrations. Moreover, it usually arises from situations such as poverty, familial abuse, neglect, and caregiver drug and alcohol use (Farley 2003; Herman, 2003, Kara, 2009). These women are often pressured into, and stay within, the sex-trafficking industry due to the lack of viable livelihood alternatives (Mah, 2011).


Living Community Psychology

Written by Gloria Levin

“Living Community Psychology” highlights a community psychologist through an in-depth interview that is intended to depict both personal and professional aspects of the featured individual. The intent is to personalize Community Psychology as it is lived by its diverse practitioners. Prior columns are available online, at These past columns contain a wealth of life advice gleaned from over 60 profiled community psychologists, from graduate students to retirees, representing an invaluable resource for community psychologists. For this installment, we feature an early career community psychologist who has always been an activist in her communities -- a perfect fit for Community Psychology. Although she struggled at finding a position after earning her doctorate, she eventually landed a challenging and rewarding position in the nonprofit world. Her story is instructive for the many recent Ph.D.’s who are caught in the Catch 22 of applying for an entrylevel professional job but expected to already have considerable prior professional experience and accomplishments.


Rural Interest Group

Edited by Susana Helm, PhD

University of Hawai`i at Mānoa,

Co-Editors Cheryl Ramos, PhD
and Suzanne Phillips, PhD

The Rural IG column highlights rural resources as well as the work of community psychologist, students, and colleagues in their rural environments. Please email Susana if you would like to submit a brief rural report or if you have resources we may list here.

Rural Resources: Rural Suicide Prevention & Treatment

Literature Review on Rural Suicide. 
Although it is a decade old, the Hirsch review article is a great resource. The article “examine[d] the current body of literature on rural suicide and investigate[d] differences between rural and urban suicide, including socioeconomic, psychological, and cultural variables. Prevention and intervention strategies specific to rural communities are discussed.”


Self Help Interest Group

Edited by Greg Townley and Alicia Lucksted

Seeking interested individuals for Self-help Interest Group leadership position: Our second term as interest group co-chairs ends in Summer 2017, and we are hoping to identify individuals interested in taking over this leadership position. We will happily provide technical assistance to make the transition as smooth as possible. Please email Alicia ( and Greg ( to discuss further!

Take Off Pounds Sensibly: A Self-Help and Mutual Support Organization

Written by Lauren E. Chacon and Jessica Corral, 

The University of Texas at El Paso;

and Louis D. Brown, 

The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston

Obesity, a burgeoning disease, causes numerous comorbidities such as heart disease, diabetes, and increased risk for chronic diseases (Goldkamp, Anderson, Lifits‐Podorozhansky, & Gavard, 2015). While popular weight loss approaches, such as pills, diets, and exercise fads can be dangerous and detrimental to health, Take Off Pounds Sensibly offers a sensible and economical solution to the obesity epidemic.