Citizenship in Community and Personal Psychology



Citizenship involves various life aspects such as social responsibility, social involvement, social loyalty, patriotism, and teamwork. Individuals associate themselves with different groups and communities. Actions of individuals are guided by the rules and regulations of the social or cultural groups they are affiliated. Community values and beliefs influence the behaviors and actions of community members. The sense of association to communities gives individuals life purposes. The values and beliefs of communities motivate individuals to act in a manner that has positive outcomes for them and their communities. Community psychology helps in understanding the relationship that exists between community aspects and values and the behavioral characteristics of community members. Community psychology helps in the analysis of the relationships and connections that individuals have with their communities.

Sense of belonging to community psychology

Through understanding the relationship between individuals and their communities, the various social factors that influence their behaviors can be identified and understood. Every individual plays a specific role in the communities or groups that they associate themselves. The sense of association is what brings out the citizenship of individuals (James, 2012). Communities that individuals associate with may include religious, school or workplace communities. Individuals at times tend to associate themselves with social groups that have similar interests as theirs or groups that possess similar values or beliefs as theirs. These groups influence the behavioral characteristics of group members. Positive values and beliefs of these groups impose positive attitudes in the group members. Community and groups leaders have a very great influence on their group members and may be used to empower them. The leaders can motivate group members to strive towards improving their welfare and the welfare of their communities. 

Community involvement and participation in community psychology

Individuals should be involved in the decision making processes of the communities or groups that they belong. Involvement of individuals in the decision making processes promotes a sense of belonging and citizenship in them.  Individuals should be allowed to create their solutions or suggest solutions towards issues that surround them or their communities. Involvement of individuals in different community matters makes them loyal to their communities due to positive attitudes that they develop towards their communities. Individuals are motivated to contribute greatly towards the improvement of themselves and their communities by being involved more in community matters (James, 2012). The level of psychological or material investment that individuals have in communities determines their level of participation in community matters. 

Individuals can create positive social relationships with others by working together in different community projects. No individual feels left out and discriminated against if all or most community members are involved in various community projects. Positive interactions with other community members enhance the sense of belonging and loyalty that individuals have towards their communities. Stereotypes are reduced or eliminated through positive interactions that are enabled by different community members working together. Community sustainability is enhanced by empowerment and involvement of individuals in community matters. Individuals tend to work towards improving their living standards and the welfare of their communities since they feel that they are an important part of their communities. 

Social responsibility in community psychology

Every individual plays a specific role in their communities either directly or indirectly. Individuals believe that their communities depend on them hence they are motivated to behave appropriately (Moritsugu, 2009).The values of communities emphasize on proper individual behaviors and individuals are obliged to maintain their community values. The contribution of individuals towards their communities is influenced by their personal or community values and perceptions of their community roles. Individuals tend to have positive attitudes towards community matters and other community matters. Individuals feel that it is their role to act accordingly towards other community members to maintain their communities’ status. 

Current research on citizenship in community psychology

A research study by Castro Tejerina and Loredo Narciandi in 2013 established that there was limited information on the relationship between citizenship and community psychology. The study established that citizenship in community psychology is not only a community agenda since it overstretches outside the community. The researchers claim that the mental status and abilities of individuals influence their behaviors. Their community’s values do not influence the behaviors of individuals. The research focused more on occupational participation, education, legal and political environments as the major influence factors of individuals’ behaviors rather than community values and beliefs. The research concluded that individuals’ social, political and economic aspects have an insignificant impact on their personal and social welfare. Individuals’ life aspects have an insignificant influence towards their communities’ welfare. 

A research study performed by Haslam in 2014 tried to establish the relationship that exists between the principles of self-categorization theories and the level of individuals’ sense of community belonging. The self-esteem of individuals and perception of community roles determines the level of participation of individuals in community matters. The conformity of individuals’ interests and community interests motivates them to participate in community matters according to the research. Conflicts or variations in the individuals’ and community interests demoralize individuals from participating in community matters and contributing positively towards their communities. The research study concluded that the personal values and beliefs of individuals are the major determinants of individuals’ behaviors and actions.  The research study further concluded that the relationship that individuals have with other communities are influenced by the perceptions that they have towards other community members. According to the research, the social relationships are not influenced by community values at all. 

A research studied performed by Prilleltensky and Nelson in 2010 analyzed the importance of citizen participation in community matters (Glenwick, 2012). The study analyzed the role that individuals play in the improvement and empowerment of their communities. The study focused mostly on communities that are marginalized and are faced with many issues. These communities of focus did not have any form of external support such as the government of NGO support and depended on communities members. The research established that citizens who had positive attitudes especially those that had sources of income contributed greatly towards the improvement of the living standards of other community members. The individuals improved the living standards of others especially those related or close to them. The individuals contributed greatly to the status level of their communities due to their positive attitudes. Positive citizenship results from positive personal attitudes. Positive citizenship obliges citizens to participate in community matters according to the study. The research study identified that collaboration of community workers in improving community standards has great positive outcomes than individual effort. According to the study, teamwork among community members promotes positive social relationships among community members. The research study concluded that positive community and social environments enhance the loyalty levels of community members towards others and their communities. 

Quality of internet pages that foster citizenship as strength of community psychology

The internet pages and websites used for this article are of high quality since they provide readers with reliable, factual and sufficient information on the topic of study. The internet pages and websites have updated information about the topic of citizenship in common psychology. The website has information on the application of citizenship as a key determinant of individuals’ behaviors and actions. The website has practical cases and research studies that portray the current situation of community psychology with regards to citizenship. The website states the various negative outcomes that arise from the lack of citizenship in empowering individuals towards improving their attitudes and behaviors. The website has reliable and factual information.

The website has sufficient and factual information about the topic. The website has various guidelines that govern psychology and can be used to guide the application of citizenship in community psychology. The website belongs to the American Psychological Association that governs psychologists in the U.S. The website has quantitative and qualitative information about the topic of study since it monitors and evaluates psychologists and psychological cases in the country.


Citizenship comprises of various social and psychological aspects that influence the behaviors and actions of individuals in their communities. Community psychology helps in understanding how personal and community values influence the attitudes and behaviors of community members. Through community psychology, the connection between individuals and their communities can be established, and this helps in determining the specific roles that individuals play in their communities. The sense of community belonging motivates individuals to participate more in community matters since individuals feel that their communities value them. The sense of belonging is created when individuals are entitled to different community roles. Individuals tend to contribute more towards their communities when they are involved more in community matters. Social responsibility among individuals is promoted by the personal values that individuals possess. Different researchers have performed research studies with the aim of establishing a clear relationship between citizenship and individuals’ behaviors. The American Psychological Association and the American Psychology website have sufficient and reliable information on citizenship in community psychology. 

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Psychologists should understand the various components of citizenship so that they can be able to understand the most appropriate and reliable components for different psychological situations. Citizenship should be applied mostly in the community and personal psychology when personal, and community values are involved.

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  1. Jason, L.A., Glenwick, D.S. (Eds.) (2012). Methodological Approaches to Community-Based Research. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.
  2. Kloos, Brett, Hill, Jean, Thomas, Elizabeth, Wandersman, Abraham; Elias, Maurice; Dalton, James (2012). Community Psychology: Linking Individuals and Communities (3rd ed). Cengage Learning. pp. 143–144.
  3. Moritsugu, J. (2009). Community Psychology (4th ed). Allyn & Bacon, Inc.
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