Social action with youth: Interventions, evaluation, and psychopolitical validity

Julie Morsillo, Isaac Prilleltensky

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

52 Scopus citations


We describe two interventions designed to encourage community action with youth in a school and a community service setting. The school intervention took place with a Year 10 class, while the community-based intervention took place with a group of same-sex attracted youth. Using a participatory action research framework, youth in both settings devised a series of community projects to promote personal, group, and community wellness. Projects included drama presentations addressing homophobia, designing an aboriginal public garden, children's activities in a cultural festival for refugees, a drug-free underage dance party, a community theatre group, and a student battle of the bands. We evaluated the various community projects using self-reports, videotapes, and ethnographic data. While goals of personal and group wellness were meaningfully met, wellness at the community level was harder to achieve. Introducing a tool for the evaluation of psychopolitical validity, we examined the degree of both epistemic and transformational validity present in the interventions. Our assessment indicates that (a) psychological changes are easier to achieve than political transformations, (b) epistemic validity is easier to accomplish than transformational validity, and (c) changes at the personal and group levels are easier to achieve than changes at the community level.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)725-740
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Community Psychology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Aug 1 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology


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