Research in Applied Social and Community Psychology


While the Applied Social and Community Psychology program provides a background to work in many settings and with a variety of problems, our faculty and student interests are focused in three areas:

Community Psychology

This area focuses on research and action designed to address community-based issues and problems. Students are trained to conduct high quality field-based research and develop and implement effective intervention projects. Faculty and student research topics include African American youth development; community development; juvenile and adult criminal justice issues; ecological programming; gender equity; African American identity development; and culturally-based programming. More information about Community Psychology can be found at the Society for Community Research and Action, Division 27 of the American Psychological Association.

Health and Well-Being

Our goal is to understand social and public health problems and to develop interventions that encourage positive change. Health issues are a major aspect of community-based efforts within this area, designed to foster the role of community coalitions, citizen mobilization, and interagency collaboration to improve life outcomes. Faculty and students conduct research on: the effects of community-based health interventions, especially in the area of mental illness and substance abuse; HIV/AIDS prevention; stigma; violence and mental health; domestic violence; obesity prevention; and social inequality. Many of these projects have been supported by National Institutes of Health grants.

Innovation and Technology

Coursework, ongoing research projects, and the availability of numerous applied settings help support a programmatic focus on public interest innovation issues. Faculty and students conduct research on: industry-university and community-university technology transfer; technology's impact on organizational and economic development; adoption and implementation of hard (e.g., IT) and social technologies; the supply and mobility of scientific personnel; technology access for disadvantaged groups; and educational innovations. Many of these projects have been supported by National Science Foundation grants.

NC State University and the Research Triangle community provide a rich environment for research and training in these three areas. For further information on current research projects and faculty interests, visit our faculty pages and lab websites: