Community Psychology, Community Psychology Training Program within the Health Psychology Ph.D. Program
Under the umbrella of the Health Psychology Ph. D. Program, the Community Psychology program offers graduate training which examines social and community factors that contribute to healthy outcomes in individuals, and develops community interventions to create stronger, healthier communities. Students develop applied research and intervention skills that enable them to effect change in settings and communities. With an emphasis on social justice and community partnerships, students work to improve the health and well-being of disenfranchised individuals and families.
Graduates choosing this emphasis are prepared to assume positions in universities, research institutes, government, nonprofits or other settings that require skills in applied research (e.g., program evaluation) and/or community intervention.
From the beginning of the program, students in the Community Psychology program become involved in applied community psychology research and intervention projects.
Most students in the Community Psychology program of the Health Psychology Ph.D. Program work on projects underway in the Community Psychology Research Lab. Students in this program are required to complete courses in Applied Research Design and Program Evaluation, Community Psychology, Community Interventions, and Community Practica. All of these courses include student engagement with the community, where they develop their skills while assisting the community.
Our doctoral students become part of a team of faculty, graduate students and undergraduates, working together in partnership with community organizations to improve the well-being of children and families, and youth and young adults transitioning to adulthood in the Charlotte community and beyond.
These partnerships are supported through multiple grants and contracts . As students become more involved in the Lab, they have opportunities to develop mentoring relationships with undergraduate students, and the Lab provides a rich source of projects for required programmatic milestones (comprehensive examination, second year research and course-specific projects).
Recent research topics include applied research on and evaluation of:
MeckCARES, a system of care for children with severe emotional disturbance and their families
A school–multi-agency partnership to address the needs of children and families in an impoverished neighborhood;
The impact of “family partners” who provide support for families involved with child protective services;
Supportive “wraparound” processes for families living in public housing developments;
A family advocacy organization that serves families engaged with the mental health system.
Programs supporting transition from adolescence to adulthood
Consumer-operated mental health recovery programs