What is the purpose of community psychology

The theoretical models in community psychology

The theoretical nature of community psychology has led to different opinions because there are criteria that they consider to be a predominantly practical branch. Because sociology and social services are so closely related, it becomes apparent that certain theoretical models need to be developed.

This article on psychology online does an analysis of the Theoretical models in community psychology, its validity as a theory, its generalization and other skills, as well as the contributions to the theoretical body of this branch of psychological science.

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  1. What is community psychology?
  2. The different theoretical models of community psychology
  3. Community psychology and social psychology: theoretical models
  4. Models of social change
  5. Competitive models
  6. Social support models
  7. Do they work as theoretical models in community psychology?
  8. Social Psychology Theories: Main Functions
  9. Necessary elements for a theoretical model

What is community psychology?

By community psychology we mean a branch of research whose main aim is to analyze the behavior of people through a collective prism, that is, through the joint analysis of societies and communities.

Because of this broad focus, it is really difficult to orientate oneself in the sea of ​​models, contributions, criteria and theories on the one hand and in proposals for intervention programs on the other hand, which show the dimensions of the community scientific method and its diverse applications in the EU, different contexts in which it it is difficult to see the correlation with the contextual theoretical framework.

Relationship between community psychology and sociology

As mentioned earlier, the goal of theoretical models is in community psychology analyze, categorize and study human behavior through group behavior. This goal is shared with the study of sociology. A science defined as the historical and phenomenological study of social groups.

The different theoretical models of community psychology

The theoretical framework of community psychology remains quite confusing and contradicting itself. In order to establish this discipline and to facilitate the study of communities, a large number of theoretical elaborations, which have been mentioned, have been developed "Theoretical models", among them we can mention:

  • Models of social change
  • Deliver models
  • Systematic orientation models
  • Social support models
  • Target models
  • Ecological models
  • Action models

These theories represent the study from very broad positions (e.g. those related to social change proposed as the subject of the societal macro-transformation of community psychology), those devoted to a particular aspect (the objective models) are, and even those who do, approach and community intervention.

Given the differences between these models, Sánchez Vidal (1991) is of the opinion that this is possible Divide into two large groups:

  • Analytical models: That is divided into global or social and psychosocial
  • Operating models

The global or social analytics These focus on the global socio-cultural framework conditions of community performance and make it possible to connect psychosocial phenomena of direct interest with community psychology, its macrosocial determinants and correlates. Psychosocial registers on the mesosocial level and combine two basic terms. individual and social system on different levels

In the Operating models they can be distinguished; The most conceptual and evaluative, defending the goals or objectives of action, and the most formal, dynamic and relational, focusing on the action and its effects, guide and direct the realization of community intervention from psychology.

Community psychology and social psychology: theoretical models

The elaboration of a theory must begin with the definition of the essential conditions of the subject for the subsequent projection. In this case, the central criterion is to develop in the individual the ability to be an object of health, which immediately results in the need to raise the determinants by which this construction can be addressed.

  1. Achieve that necessary changes in life and its surroundings.
  2. To get the community to have its own feeling and act as a support system.
  3. Develop potential in the form of personal resources.
  4. Create a space that is a common action scenario.

In fact, these indissoluble concepts are only partially seen in any model, and the fourth model has not received enough attention, which limits the usefulness of the model theoretical constructsbecause space is the reason for the group to exist.

According to the writer of the article, that is Models that make more contributions to the theoretical body of community psychology You are:

  • The models of social change.
  • The competition models.
  • Social support models.

Each of these models examine some of the central elements of community theory in order to achieve the ultimate goal of community action or to make people protagonists of their own health.

Below is a brief analysis of each theoretical model in community psychology:

Models of social change

In the general sense, promote the transformation of the social environment to adapt its functions and to give all members space with regard to integration. These changes can lead to reorganization that can be used in other aspects of human and social activity. Change is also seen as accepting new roles and improving on already accepted and, in general, any psychological transformation that enables the search for health to compensate.

In this way, the author believes that positions advocating radical social change leading to political and economic social transformations are not helpful because he considers it utopian that psychology can achieve differences macrosocial magnitudeThis is substantiated by the fact that there is no evidence to suggest that it is at this level.

The purposes of radical social change lead to a disproportionate emphasis on social aspects that lead to a decrease in psychological evaluation, an excessive dimension of the role of the psychologist, viewing him as a transformer of social systems leading to his theoretical principles of application difficulties.

Competitive models

They give meaning to the volitional character of the socialization process, where psychological qualities with a personological peculiarity are developed Manifested competent behaviors that enable him to live better, Understanding within this and as a priority healthy behavior. The development of potentials and the creation of these psychological resources during ontogenetic development enables self-actualization, increased self-esteem, decision-making and autonomous behavior.

To consider competency in terms of the competent man, resilience and ability to confront before the conflicts, since in the absence of them these models make these models meaningful because:

  • You emphasize that psychological relevance, for the consideration of all people who have resources and potential. There are no incompetent people, we all have options - but others - and some discover them more easily than others because the social conditions were more favorable.
  • They are framed the mesosocial levelwhere the community is located and does not intend to penetrate the macrosocial systems, which makes their constructs more useful.
  • They see as a basic criterion promoting healthy behavior from the scientific knowledge that professionals and the community share in order to create an interactive relationship interested in development.
  • Deriving into the field of health, where you can find knowledge and methods to achieve empowerment and self-management.

Social support models

They manifest the importance of interpersonal relationships in the form of social support, giving Importance of the constructive quality of the exchangeThe result is that the system has a personal meaning for each individual in order to be able to assess the social requirements, whether daily or in a crisis, and the feasibility of qualitatively meaningful handling. Social support promotes health and wellbeing. It is a mechanism to create morality and positive affective states, thereby increasing self-esteem, stability, and a sense of belonging, which strengthens the individual and the group.

In summary one can say that Effective social support enables:

  • Developing qualities with consistency psychological strengthening.
  • Amplitude in the perspective of physical and psychological balance with the advantages derived from it.
  • Reduced risk of illness (mainly for chronic and non-communicable diseases) Coping skills in the events of life.
  • Reducing reliance on health services.

Do they work as theoretical models in community psychology?

What is interesting now is to see to what extent these definitions are theories, that is, whether they really work “theoretical models”. At the beginning it is necessary to make some reflections on the theory, its functions, its usefulness and the criteria to be considered.

This is how we find the definition of Kerlinger (1975) on theory gives us essential elements that characterize it when it says that it is a set of constructs (concepts), definitions, and related theorems that represent a systematic standpoint of phenomena that indicate relationships between variables explain them and predict the phenomena. Other authors, such as Black and Champion (1976), Blalock (1984), and Gibbs (1976), also use definitions similar to those of Kerlinger ..

When reviewing the literature, there are several ways to explain and apply the theory. The theory is usually identified with a theoretical orientation, theoretical framework, theoretical scheme, or model (Sjoberg and Nett, 1980). There are even those who claim that the theory is a set of unverifiable or incomprehensible ideas that scientists (Black and Champion, 1976) keep on their minds, others who see them as something disconnected from reality, and even those who believe that theories are the authors' ideas that equate them with the history of ideas.

The criterion of the theory is so great that we will take the Kerlinger criterion for its seriousness and logic.

Social Psychology Theories: Main Functions

All theory is useful, either because it describes, explains, and predicts a phenomenon or a fact; Why does he organize the knowledge or why does it lead the investigation? There are no bad or inappropriate theories. Sometimes you can't see the usefulness of the theory because you can't see its connection with reality. In other cases, it is called a theory that is actually a belief, set of guesswork, speculation, or event. When the theory is applied to a particular reality and does not work, it does not become unusable, but ineffective for a particular context.

All theories You bring knowledge However, sometimes they see the phenomena studied from different angles, and some are more developed than others and perform their functions better. There are several criteria to determine the value of a theory:

  • Its Ability to Describe, Explain, and Predict: Describing involves defining the phenomenon, its features and components, the conditions under which it occurs, and the various ways it can manifest itself.

Explanation has two meanings: Ferman and Levin (1979) means firstly to understand the causes of the phenomenon and secondly refers to the "empirical test" of the proportions of the theories.

  • Logical consistency: The proposals that integrate it must be linked, there must be no repetitions, no internal contradictions or inconsistencies (Black and Champion, 1976).
  • Perspective: it refers to the level of generality (Ferman and Levin, 1979). A theory has more perspective when several phenomena can be explained and a greater number of applications.
  • Fruit: The ability of a theory to generate new questions and discoveries.
  • Parsimony: It is understood as simplicity, which is a desirable quality because it does not mean superficiality, but can explain more phenomena with fewer sentences.

The Community psychology theorist They invoked “theoretical model” to all explanations, whether descriptive, exploratory or explanatory about the causes that led to this tendency, the historical and social conditions of their actions as well as the methods used, in which different criteria exist on the object of investigation

If we take the definition of the grand theory and its related theoretical models by Goetz and Lecompte (1988) - the authors who refer to this term - the grand theory is viewed as highly interrelated systems of sentences and abstract concepts, that describe, predict, or describe exhaustively explain large categories of phenomena. The clearest examples of great theories are those of Newton and Einstein about the relationships between matter, energy and movement.

These authors consider that it is difficult in the field of social sciences to reach this theoretical level, which some attribute to the lack of maturity of these sciences or to the complexities of human behavior, so that it can be reduced to laws universal Despite this criterion, we believe that it is possible to see great theories in psychology historical-cultural development of the psychological processes of the von Vygotsky man (1987)

Goetz and Lecompte also believe that the great theory is associated with theoretical models “set of related assumptions, concepts and sentences in a casual way that make up a vision of the world.

Necessary elements for a theoretical model

It is clear that for the formulation of a theoretical model it is necessary to:

  • The existence of one great theory what can be taken as a theoretical framework.
  • A. Degree of generalization This allows for review and use in different contexts.
  • That is constituted in methodological orientation and research source in this area.

These authors go on to say that adenines of the great theory and the theoretical models related to it also give formal theories or intermediate domains “These are sets of related sentences whose aim is to explain an abstract class of human behavior”. Finally, they refer to the substantive theory "These are interrelated sentences or concepts that focus on certain aspects of populations, scenarios or times".

From this the conclusion can be drawn that not only the field of research or the subject of study determines the level and complexity of the theory, but also the importance of the theory Depth of study and results get those who can localize the theory at one level or another.

In our opinion, in naming "theoretical models" for all of these studies, sometimes general and sometimes very specific, it is to oversize them as they do not have the generalizing capacity expected of a theoretical model but lie within the essential ones Theories must be. This analysis is based on:

  • They work at the level of Groups and Human Behavior.
  • Their ability to generalize, coherence, and predict is limited to specific contexts.
  • The lack of a great theory to guide and guide them in order to have a relationship with the same goal.
  • It is not possible to adjust a vision of the world, not because the community field does not allow it, but because of its limited development and fragmentation.

These theories are useful, but the lack of a sense of unity is evident, which hinders the configuration of a theoretical body involving theory and practice in close relationship and interdependence.

With the necessary linkage of the principles: change, social support, development of resources and scenarios, the latter is urgent and the investigations are directed in this direction.