69988 - Theoretical and Intervention Models for Community Psychology.

Academic Year 2021/2022

  • Moduli: Gabriele Prati (Modulo 1) Cinzia Albanesi (Modulo 2)
  • Teaching Mode: Traditional lectures (Modulo 1) Traditional lectures (Modulo 2)
  • Campus: Cesena
  • Corso: Second cycle degree programme (LM) in Clinical psychology (cod. 0990)

Learning outcomes

At the end of the course, the student

- knows the key concepts and the theoretical models of community psychology

- knows and uses instruments to analyse the emergent needs in the communities and in the ordinary life contexts

- knows the exsisting services addressed to the persons in the local community,

- knows the methodology of participatory action research and project work

- is able to use specific instruments to work in preventive, remedial and empowerment projects

Course contents

The course will take place during the first semester (from September, 27 2021 to November 18, 2021) at the Department of Psychology, Cesena Campus (address: piazza A. Moro, 90, Cesena, Room A). (and on line, based on the guidelines provided by the Academic Senate of the University of Bologna).

The course aims to illustrate the main theoretical orientations of Community Psychology (CP), starting from an analysis of its origins and development at national and international level. Community Psychology is a new perspective, a new way of thinking and knowing the reality, based on the premise that the persons and their needs can be understood only within the social contexts to which they belong and within which they interact. The focus of the analysis and intervention is on the strengths of people rather than on individual or community deficits or problems. Central topics are the ecological perspective (fit between person and life contexts), the respect for the cultural diversity to avoid discrimination, and the commitment for social change. The goal is to balance human capital development, political activity and scientific inquiry, in order to realise an equitable distribution of psychological as well as material resources.

After a presentation of the origin and development of CP at international and national level, attention will be given to the analysis of the community dimensions: local, relational, and virtual. The key concepts of the discipline (empowerment, sense of community, participation, social network) will be discussed, as basis to elaborate strategies of involvement, social inclusion, and to promote the community development.

The main intervention methods and strategies, used in institutional and social contexts, will be presented, with a special focus on participatory action research, work with groups and networking. Some community intervention projects on prevention and wellbeing promotion will be illustrated with the help of professionals and experts.

To be able to take part in the course students should have acquired basic knowledge in social and group psychology: this knowledge will be verified during the first class hours. In case of problems, students will give appropriate readings.

Module 2: 30 hours (teacher prof. Cinzia Albanesi, from September 27, 2021, to October 28, 2021)

Goals and theoretical perspectives: the ecological and systemic approach, the critical community psychology; working toward social justice and well-being.

Key concepts and intervention perspectives: empowerment, resilience sense of community, social networks and social support, wellbeing and social justice.

Methodologies and intervention strategies: PAR - participatory action research, prevention and health promotion

Module 1: 15 hours (teacher: prof. Gabriele Prati, from November 4 2021, to November 18 2021)

Impact of disasters and accidents on social practices and community

Community resilience and growth

The community of volunteers and rescue workers following a disaster

Psychological interventions at group and community level: Psychological First Aid, psychosocial support, and peer support programs.


- For the written exam:

- Zani B. (Ed.) (2012) Psicologia di comunità. Prospettive, idee, metodi. (Community Psychology. Perspectives, ideas, methods.) Roma: Carocci chapters 1,2, 5,6,7,8,9, 10,11, 12.

Pietrantoni L., Prati G., Psicologia dell'emergenza, Il Mulino, Bologna (2009), chapters 1,3,4,5,6,7,9

- For the optional oral exam, one text chosen from the following list (or approved by the teachers):

-Bertoletti S., Maringolo P., Stagnitta M., Zuffa G. (2011) Terre di confine. Soggetti, modelli, esperienze dei servizi a bassa soglia. Unicopli, Milano.

- Cicognani E., Albanesi C. (a cura di) (2020) La cittadinanza attiva a scuola, Roma Carocci

-Mannarini T. (2016). Il senso di comunità. Come e perché i legami contano. McGraw Hill, Milano,

-Nicoli A. e Zani B. (1998) Mal di psiche. La percezione sociale del disagio mentale, Carocci, Roma

-Laverack, G., De Piccoli, N., & Tortone, C. (2018). Salute pubblica: potere, empowerment e pratica professionale. Il pensiero scientifico.

-Pietrantoni L., Prati G., Palestini L. Il Primo Soccorso Psicologico nelle maxi-emergenze e nei disastri. Clueb, Bologna.

-Sanza, M., Cicognani, E., Zani B., Nasuelli F. (2011) Le rotte del divertimento e il consumo di sostanze psicoattive. Nuovi comportamenti, interventi di prevenzione e di riduzione dei rischi. Angeli, Milano


Teaching methods

Lectures, group-work, case analysis, meetings with professionals and experts, videos and films, analysis of scientific articles.

Assessment methods

The final exam is organized as follows:

1. Written essay on the assigned texts: 4 open ended questions (in 2 hours time), aimed to assess the acquired basic knowledge in the topics of the course treated in both modules, and the critical thinking in the analysis of the psychosocial phenomena. The essay has to be positively evaluated (at least 18/30) in order to allow the access to the optional oral examination. Grade 18 (essential knowledge) will be obtained when answers show basic knowledge, without critical discussions or reference to specific experiences and research exemplifying concepts/topics. Grade 30 (excellent knowledge) will be obtained when answers show critical knowledge of the topic/concept, and extended discussion of relevant projects and research analysed during classes and in the texts.

2. Optional oral exam on a text chosen by the student from the proposed list. Only students who obtained a grade of 25 at the written essay or higher will have the opportunity to give the oral exam. The oral exam is aimed to investigate in depth a specific topic among those illustrated during the course and will be evaluated from 0 to 2 marks, that will be added to the mark of the written essay.

During the exams calculation tools and vocabularies are not allowed.

Active participation in class  and completion of the classwork will contribute to the final grade up to 25%.

In order to be admitted to the exam, students must register on the exam session on Almaesami respecting the deadline. Students who are not able to register on Almaesami for technical reasons, should contact the teacher via email before the deadline of the registration.

Teaching tools

PC, internet, power point, web resources

Office hours

See the website of Cinzia Albanesi

See the website of Gabriele Prati


Good health and well-being Reduced inequalities Sustainable cities

This teaching activity contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.