Community Psychology and Public Health Approaches to Social Problems

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Community Psychology and Public Health Approaches to Social Problems PYC4811 Assignment: 657794 April 2015 Introduction At first community psychology and the public health’s approach to social problems appear to be similar with only some key differences in their explanation of the causes and influences of these problems on the mental wellbeing of individuals. Some of the similarities include their belief that effective treatment should focus on preventative measures that work with the causes of pathology as opposed to curative measures which aim to treat the incidences and/or symptoms. (Guemina, 1995). Some of the other differences include the role of the individual in the development of a mental illness, as well as intervention and/or therapeutic approaches viewed as most successful and beneficial. This essay will attempt to compare and contrast the approaches of community psychology and the public health to social problems, while giving light to their strengths and limitations. Features and Characteristics Community psychology originated with the rejection of traditional psychoanalysis and the shift from the individual to groups with the emphasis on issues relating to socially relevant problems within the community. Evidence that socio-economic contexts were central to individual pathology meant understanding that social inequalities were to be held responsible for the problems faced in society, and not the isolated manifestations of individuals’ dysfunctions. (Rappaport, 1981; Butchart & Seedat, 1990) The public health approach, however, emerged from the government’s attempt to regulate hygiene and movement of waste as a preventative measure to avoid an outbreak of disease. This led to systems that promoted wellbeing through controlled influencing of health behavior. Purposes and Goals Both community psychology and public health

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