Division Focus: Division 27
By Roger P. Weissberg, PhD, Department of Psychology, University
of Illinois at Chicago, President of Division 27
Division 27 (The Society for Community Research and Action--SCRA)
is devoted to advancing theory, research, and social action to
promote positive well-being and prevent the development of
problems in individuals and their communities. The action-
research agenda of the field is guided by four broad principles:
(a) Community research is an active collaborative enterprise
between researchers, citizens, and consumers. (b) Human
competencies and problems are best conceptualized by viewing
people within their social, cultural, and historical context.
(c) Change strategies are needed at both the individual and
systems levels for effective competence promotion and problem
prevention. (d) Multiple methods of research, including
quantitative and qualitative, are needed to develop the knowledge
base for the field.
Division 27 was established in 1967 and was originally called the
Division of Community Psychology. However, members voted to
change the name in response to the growing emphasis on
multidisciplinary approaches to community research and action.
Although most SCRA members are psychologists, our membership
includes researchers and activists from related fields such as
public health, psychiatry, social work, education, anthropology,
sociology, nursing, and political science. Interests of SCRA
members include prevention and health promotion; empowerment and
social change; culture, race, and gender; human diversity; and
community mental health.
SCRA is an educational and scientific organization established to
(a) encourage the use of social and behavioral sciences for the
well-being of people and their communities; (b) promote theory
development and research that increase understanding of human
behavior in context and in all its diversity; and (c) foster the
exchange of knowledge and skills in community research and
The American Journal of Community Psychology (AJCP) publishes
empirical research, theoretical papers, literature reviews, and
reports of interventions in the area of community psychology.
AJCP encourages manuscripts concerned with underrepresented
populations and issues of human diversity.
The Community Psychologist, the Society's newsletter, is
published 6 times a year. It complements AJCP by providing a
less formal venue for the exchange of ideas. Brief reports and
reflections on the practice of community research and action are
the major focus. The Society also publishes The Community
Student, which is written by and for students.
The Biennial Conference on Community Research and Action is a
major international forum where participants present their latest
and best work. The next conference, which features more than 500
presenters, takes place June 14-17, 1995, in Chicago. SCRA
members also present their work at the annual APA Convention.
Other projects include a Regional Coordination Network with 25
regional coordinators around the world, which sponsors regional
conferences, workshops, resource exchanges, and informal
discussion groups about community issues; an e-mail network;
and ten interest groups that have emerged out of the varied
interests of SCRA members.
SCRA memberships are $29 for professionals and $15 for students,
which include free subscriptions to AJCP and The Community
Psychologist. We encourage student members; currently, more than
400 students belong to the Division. For more information, please
William Davidson II
Department of Psychology
129 Psychology Building
Michigan State University
East Lansing, MI 48824-1117
Phone: (517) 353-5015
FAX: (517) 432-2476