• Community Psychology at a Regional University: On Engaging Undergraduate Students in Applied Research

      McKibban, Amie R.; Steltenpohl, Crystal N.
      Engaging students in service learning projects grounded in community psychology values and practices when working in a rural, conservative area provides several challenges and opportunities for faculty members. The authors share processes and outcomes from three case examples taking place between 2010 and 2013: (1) running focus groups and survey development with a local YMCA branch that predominantly serves people of color in low income housing, (2) the development of a strategic plan for the implementation of an art crawl in the local downtown community, and (3) the development and execution of an asset map evaluating supportive resources and spaces available to the local LGBTQA community. The authors reflect on feedback from students and community partners. These case examples highlight the complexity of balancing students’ skillsets, work and other life obligations, and desire to use classroom knowledge in community settings. It also highlights the importance of preparing community partners for working on applied research. We provide recommendations based on each project’s challenges and successes for universities and communities of similar demographics. Working in rural, conservative settings provide their own challenges and opportunities, but are well worth it if implemented in an intentional way, and more research is needed to strengthen our understanding of how best to engage students from a variety of social and political backgrounds.
    • A Community-Based “Street Team” Tobacco Cessation Intervention by and for Youth and Young Adults

      Saw, Anne; Steltenpohl, Crystal N.; Bankston-Lee, Kimberly; Tong, Elisa K.
      Most tobacco users initiate use as youth or young adults. To promote tobacco cessation for this group and encourage non-users’ engagement in tobacco control efforts, a community-based organization developed a “Street Team” brief outreach intervention that enlisted youth and young adults to encourage their peers to stop tobacco use through a brief intervention. Street Team members provided education, a Quit Kit, and referrals to cessation resources at a total of 27 community events over a four-year period. Tobacco users (n = 279) completed assessments of tobacco use, quit intention, and quit self-efficacy at baseline. Self-reports of cessation outcomes including past week abstinence were assessed 1-, 3-, and 6-months post-intervention. Perceptions of the intervention were gathered from Street Team members (n = 28) and intervention participants post-intervention. T-tests and χ2-tests were used to compare those who completed at least one follow-up assessment to those lost to follow-up. Time effects were analyzed using fixed effect models. Missing = using analyses indicate 16.1, 18.6, and 12.5% 7-day quit rate at 1-, 3-, and 6-months follow-up. Feedback from intervention participants indicate the intervention was acceptable and that discussions with Street Team members and provision of quit kits motivated tobacco users to consider quitting. All Street Team members responded positively to their participation in the intervention. This Street Team approach for youth and young adults is promising as an effective approach to the promotion of tobacco cessation among users and engagement and empowerment in tobacco control efforts among non-users.