Divergence between community psychologists in academic and nonacademic settings: A closer look at the implications

Maurice J. Elias, James H. Dalton, Robert Franco, George W. Howe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The ecological principle of interdependence has been a guiding theme in our research and conceptualization. For the development of community psychology, academic and applied interest and networks must be integrated in ways which value the views and resources of both groups. This is the focus of Kelly's (1984) remarks. The dynamic interplay of ideas, data, and practices is likely to facilitate the collaboration between researchers and setting inhabitants which Trickett (1984) describes as the distinctive quality of community psychology. Common pathways of information exchange, joint responsibility for training future members of the field, and mutually enhancing role relationships are needed. Current channels of communication provide little ease of access or incentives for participation by psychologists in nonacademic settings. It thus becomes the reponsibility of all concerned community psychologists to use their organizational skills to redress this harmful imbalance (Kelly, 1984). For this to occur, however, we must take the initial steps of frankly recognizing differences in our folkways and organizational constraints, while also emphasizing our common values and assets. The largest threat to the field is external constraints from university and clinical service settings on the work that represents community psychology (Elias et al., 1984). If we are divided or uninformed in the face of these environmental presses, we will never create the adaptive niche that community psychology needs to survive.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)113-118
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Journal of Community Psychology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1986

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Health(social science)
  • Applied Psychology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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