This article can be found in the current issue of the Journal of Urban Affairs regarding Contributions of Community Psychology to Urban Research and Policy.
This article currently has free access and is available to read and download.
Community psychology and urban studies: Common connections and missed opportunities, by Jennifer Watling Neal
Community psychology is an international subfield of psychology that focuses on encouraging well-being by examining transactions between individuals and larger social systems including organizations (e.g., schools, workplaces), local neighborhoods, and cities. Although the fields of community psychology and urban studies both address metropolitan problems, urban social change, and urban policy, it is unclear to what extent these fields inform each other. In this paper, I first trace the history and development of community psychology in three localities to urban issues such as access to community mental health services, unemployment, and urban poverty. Second, I describe how contemporary community psychologists have focused their research on a range of urban topics including urban education, homelessness and housing policy, and local politics. Third, using a network analysis of journal citations, I explore the extent to which community psychology and urban studies have informed each other over the past 10 years. Finally, I explore future directions for encouraging interdisciplinarity between community psychology and urban studies.