Original Articles

Community Psychology in Africa: Views From Across the Continent

Published in: Journal of Psychology in Africa
Volume 16, issue 2, 2006 , pages: 147–160
DOI: 10.1080/14330237.2006.10820116
Author(s): Sandy LazarusUniversity of Western Cape, South Africa, Olaniyi BojuwoyeUniversity of Kwazulu Natal, South Africa, Regis ChiresheMasvingo State University, Zimbabwe, Kathleen MyamboAmerican University in Cairo, Egypt, Charity AkotiaUniversity of Ghana, Ghana, Andrew MogajiUniversity of Lagos, Nigeria, Theresa TchombeUniversity of Buea, Cameroon

Abstract

This article presents the findings of a descriptive survey conducted for the purposes of exploring whether and how community psychology has developed in the African region. In particular, the focus was on identifying whether and how community psychology has developed in the country concerned; what the key characteristics of this approach in that context are; what meta-theoretical frameworks and theoretical approaches are adopted to inform the practice of community psychology, including exploring whether and how indigenous knowledges inform the theoretical and practical developments of community psychology in that context; identifying the key challenges facing community psychology; and exploring the future possibilities of the development of this approach in the country concerned. Using the Journal of Psychology network as a basis for inviting participation in this study, 77 participants from 14 countries responded to the emailed questionnaire. A qualitative ‘cross-country’ content analysis was performed to draw out common patterns and trends in the region, and a selected ‘in-country’ analysis, including six countries was conducted. The findings reveal many common threads with regards to the key characteristics of this approach in the African context, and highlight similar challenges. All respondents indicated that this approach was very relevant to the African context and needed to be pursued at all levels.

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