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Critically Compare And Contrast The Public Health Approach

975 words - 4 pages


PYC 4811




Critically compare and contrast the Community psychology and Public Health Approaches to social problems.



Introduction 1

Community Psychology Approach 1

Public Health Approach 1

Similarities between both ...view middle of the document...

It looks at the social and environmental contexts at individual,

organizational and community levels, the relevance of culture and diversity of people

and empowerment of individuals and apply principles of resource mobilization,

interdependence, and adaptation.

Public Health Approach

This approach provided an alternative to the medical model used in Clinical Psychology that

focuses on illness, treatment, and recovery. The central principle to this approach is prevention

rather than cure. It focused on diseases such as cancer, cholera, HIV/AIDS, cardio-vascular

disease caused through diet and smoking and also injuries through accident and violence. The

focus is less on the individual and more on the public and society in general.


Similarities between both aproaches

Community psychology has many methods, topics, theories, and values in common with public

health. Both fields emphasize skill development and involves participants in program planning,

implementation, and evaluation. They also employ qualitative and quantitative methods for

process and outcome evaluation. Methods such as advocacy, community organizing, policy

influence, and dissemination are used by both fields. Community psychologists focus on

interpersonal support, stress and coping, citizen participation, social capital, wellness and

health promotion, and social change in individuals, families, schools, churches, workplaces,

and communities. Mutual and self-help approaches also overlap the two fields.

Both approaches apply similar theories and models. Community Psychology addresses

cultural issues and diversity in both the application of theory and research and intervention

design in Public Health programs are developed and modified to match the values, norms and

beliefs of the audience whether it be on ethnic, behavioral (e.g., homosexual, intravenous drug

use), gender, or cultural differences. Both approaches look at social relationships, involve

diverse community members, and study factors outside the individual when looking at the

problems of individuals, and in so doing, avoid blaming individuals solely for their problems.

Both Community psychology and Public Health Approaches stress prevention, empowerment,

promotion of healthy behavior and community involvement and improvement.

Differences between both approaches

Community Psychology differs from Public health in some ways. The focus of Community

Psychology is on mental health issues while Public health stresses more on health concerns

like infectious diseases, cardiovascular disease, asthma, diabetes, and cancer. Community

Psychology focuses more on behavioral aspects of health such as alcohol and drug use, risky


sexual behavior, teenage pregnancy, and violence, homelessness, school dropout, and

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