Community Psychology

Base Knowledge


Teaching Methodologies

For this course, the construction of knowledge focuses on the principles of participation and committed involvement during the construction of learning. Given these principles, the approach chosen, which relies on dialogue and critical reflection, implies the adoption of participatory and cooperative methodologies, and reflective construction of knowledge, particularly in the tasks defined, implemented and shared. The assessment includes the possibility of students being able to choose one of the following modes: continuous assessment or evaluation by exam. Continuous assessment includes the quality of the contribution of participation in activities within the framework of the course (40%) and a workgroup, a work program (10%); written work (30%); presentation and discussion (20%). Evaluation by exam is presented in the form of written test.

Learning Results

1. To understand the influence of social, cultural and environmental factors on community’s psychological well-being.

2. To master concepts, values and theories of community psychology and understand the factors, mechanisms and structures that contribute to groups and communities cohesion.

3. To target reflexive interventions in the area of social gerontology in order to promote personal, social and cultural development, taking into account the specificities of contexts and communities.


1. Community Psychology: definitions and goals. 2. Community Psychology: origins and evolution 3. Principals of Community Psychology: 3.1. Values; 3.2. Sense of community; 3.3. Social Capital; 3.4. Empowerment; 4. Theoretical Models of Community Psychology: 4.1. Mental Health Models; 4.2. Social Action Model; 4.3. Ecological Model; 4.4. Behavioral Model. 5. Community Development and Social Action: 5.1. Applications of Community Psychology: Prevention, Social Change, Social Support, Self-Help Groups. 5.2. Intervention Process and Community Development: Steps, communities characteristics, and relevant partnerships.

Curricular Unit Teachers

Grading Methods

  • - test - 100.0%
Continuing evaluation
  • - Group work (10%); Written paper (40%) and its discussion (20%) - 70.0%
  • - class participation - 30.0%




Levine, M., Perkins, D., & Perkins, D. (2005). Principles of community psychology. Perspectives and applications. New York: Oxford University Press.

Fetterman, D., & Wandersman, A. (Eds.)(2005). Empowerment Evaluation: Principles in Practice. The Guilford Press: New York.

Silva, S., Marques, F., Raposo, D., Soeiro, D., Tavares, J., & Parreiral, S. (2015). Ambientes amigos das pessoas idosas: Dados de um estudo sobre a perceção do sentimento de comunidade, In J. Pereira, M. Lopes, & T. Rodrigues (Coords.), Animação Sociocultural, Gerontologia, Educação Intergeracional: Estratégias e métodos de intervenção para um envelhecimento ativo (pp. 201-210). Chaves: Intervenção.

Ornelas, J. (2008). Psicologia Comunitária. Lisboa: Fim de Século.

Cheng, S., & Heller, K. (2009). Global Aging: Challenges for Community Psychology. Community Psychol, 44, 161-173.

Vidal, A. (1996). Psicología Comunitaria: bases conceptuales y métodos de intervención. Barcelona: EUB, S.L.

Prilleltensky, I., & Nelson, G. (Eds.) (2003). Community Psychology. In pursuit of wellness and liberation. London: MacMillan/ Palgrave.

Gittell, R.; & Vidal, A. (1998). Community organizing. Building social capital as a development strategy. Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications.