Interest Groups

The Society of Community Research and Action strongly encourages members and student members to form Interest Groups with colleagues who share a lively interest in a particular issue. The purpose of Interest Groups is to provide a visible yet informal organizational vehicle for members to pursue shared community interests.

Interest Groups form based on grassroots interest expressed by Society members. They come into existence, flourish, and decline primarily as a function of this grassroots interest and initiative. Interest Groups are recognized through a listing in The Community Psychologist, a small budget allocation from the SCRA Executive Committee, and inclusion of meeting announcements in the Biennial and APA Convention Programs. Interest Groups are invited to contribute regularly to TCP. 

Interest Groups have found diverse ways to pursue their concerns. Special issues of The Community Psychologist, awards for members, development of a mentoring program, surveys, conference presentations, open meetings, member interest inventories and directories, and informal networking all have resulted from interest group efforts. Interest Groups provide a community within the larger Society for those with common concerns.

Current Interest Groups


The Aging interest group focuses on the productive role of aging in the community and the prevention of mental health problems in the elderly.

Contact: Andrew J. Hostetler, Chair

Children, Youth, and Families

The Children, Youth, and Families interest group facilitates the interests of child and adolescent development in high risk contexts, especially the effect of urban poverty and community structures on child and family development.

Contact: Michelle Ronayne, Chair

Community Action

To explore the roles and contributions of people working in applied community psychology settings.

Contact: Brad Olson, Co-Chair and Susan Torres-Harding, Co-Chair

Community Health

To enhance communication and collaboration among community psychologists with interests in health promotion, disease prevention, and health care service delivery.

Contact: David W. Lounsbury, Co-Chair, Darcy Freedman, Co-Chair, Venoncia Baté-Ambrus, Co-Chair, Aresi Giovanni Co-Chair


To promote understanding of the depth and diversity of disability issues in the community that are ready for research and action; to influence community psychologists’ involvement in policy and practices that enhance self-determination, personal choice, and full inclusion in the community for people with disabilities; to enhance the synergy and complementarity between community psychology and the disabled community.

Contact: Currently seeking chair for this interest group. For more information, please contact Victoria Scott, SCRA Administrative Director 

Disability Interest Group Listserv

We hope that many of you will join us and help create a vibrant community of disability scholars and activists within the SCRA.

To sign up for the listserv, 
1. Send an email to: with the following message in the body of the email (please be sure to remove any other text, including signatures): SubscribeSCRA-DIG

Early Career

To support SCRA members who have been working as a community psychology researcher; practitioner; activist; or teacher or professor; or in a related field, for no more than seven years. The important aims of this group are to: (1) promote the concerns, interests, and issues unique to early career individuals within SCRA; (2) promote opportunities for early career scholars to make contributions to or hold leadership positions within the SCRA community; and (3) promote formalized opportunities for recognition of professional accomplishments by early career SCRA members. 

Contact: Ben Graham, Co-Chair and Ashlee Lien, Co-Chair

Early Career Listserv

To subscribe:

  1. Send e-mail to LISTSERV@LISTS.APA.ORG
  2. Leave the subject area blank
  3. In your message area type:  SUBSCRIBE SCRA-ECP Your_first_name Your_last_name (e.g. Fred Smith)

Environment and Justice

To promote research, teaching, and action related to global climate change and environmental degradation, with a focus on environmental justice, particularly how environmental change affects and often perpetuates social inequality.

Contact: Lena Bain, Co-Chair and  Allison Eady, Co-Chair


To support members who are conducting Indigenous research by providing a forum for the exchange of ideas, literature and experience. The interest group aims to utilize combined resources more effectively in order to raise public awareness of the plight of Indigenous people and address the social justice issues they face in oppressive dominant societies.

Currently seeking chair for this interest group. For more information, please contact Victoria Scott, SCRA Administrative Director 

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Concerns

To increase awareness of the need for community research and action related to issues that impact LGBT people; and serve as a mechanism for communication, collaboration, and support among community psychologists who are either interested in research/service/policy related to LGBT people and communities, and/or who identify as LGBT.


Debbie Ojeda, Co-Chair, Corey Flanders, Co-Chair, Christopher Jenne, Co-Chair, and Rachel Smith, Co-Chair

LGBT Interest Group Listserv

To sign up for the listserv, send an email to:

Organization Studies

The Organization Studies interest group is a community of scholars who are interested in community psychology themes (e.g., empowerment, ecological analysis, prevention, sense of community) in organizational contexts, and in importing organization studies concepts, methods, models, and theories into community psychology.

Contact: Neil Boyd, Co-Chair and Kimberly Bess, Co-Chair

Prevention and Promotion

To enhance the development of prevention and promotion research, foster active dialogue about critical conceptual and methodological action and implementation issues, and promote the rapid dissemination and discussion of new developments and findings in the field.

Contact: Toshi Sasao, Co-Chair and Jessica Norman, Co-Chair


To promote awareness of rural issues by developing communications networks, and by publishing and providing timely and accurate material for graduate training programs.

Contact: Susana Helm, Co-Chair, Suzanne Phillips, Co-Chair, and Cheryl Ramos, Co-Chair

School Intervention

To promote interchange about the theories, methods, knowledge base, and setting factors pertaining to prevention and health promotion programs in schools; to discuss the role of community psychology interventions in the context of current issues facing schools and education.

Contact: Joni Splett, Co-Chair and Melissa Maras, Co-Chair

Self-Help & Mutual Support

To promote research and action related to self-help/mutual support groups and related initiatives; to provide a forum for interested researchers, self-helpers, and service providers to communicate and network.

Contact: Greg Townley, Chair

Transformative Change in Community Mental Health

Contact: Geoff Nelson, Chair

Transformative Change in Community Mental Health

We seek to establish an alternative paradigm to the promotion of mental health based in community settings upon the values of citizenship, recovery, empowerment, inclusion, and social justice. Our work includes the articulation of models, identification of promising practices, and research to demonstrate the value of this alternative paradigm. Through a SCRA interest group, we seek to create an international network that can support the development of this paradigm and transformative change in mental health systems and communities that includes partnerships with community leaders, consumers/survivors/users, mental health professionals, social and biomedical scientists. Through such a network, we aim to find ways to be a resource groups, individuals, and communities that are interested in pursuing alternative paradigms for the promotion of mental health in community settings.

Contact: Geoffrey Nelson, Chair

Initiating an Interest Group

To initiate an interest group, the group must submit the following information to the Executive Committee:

  1. A proposal indicating the purpose and rationale for the group;
  2. A list of at least 25 Society members who want such a group to form and agree to be active participants; and
  3. The names, addresses, phone numbers and fax numbers of at least two contact persons who are willing to be appointed as Chair and Chair-Elect.

The Executive Committee will typically consider these requests at its next business meeting (Midwinter or August). Individuals who wish to start an Interest Group are welcome to contact the President, other Executive Committee members, and/or current Interest Groups Chairs for further information and support.