Community psychology emphasizes an ecological approach to mental health by focusing on the individual in the environment and the influences that shape and change behavior. Becoming Ecological brings together the work of James G. Kelly, one of the founders of community psychology and among the field's national leaders. The volume unites thirteen of Kelly's publications from 1968 to 2002 as well as four new essays on current issues in the field: the theory, research, practice, and education of community psychologists. Kelly introduces the work by offering connections between his personal experiences and the topics he chose to focus on throughout his long career. He begins each of the thirteen essays with commentary that sets the article in its original context so that the reader has a historical perspective on why certain ideas were salient at a particular time and how they are still timely today. Kelly concludes with a "summing up" section integrating the previously published articles with the four new essays. Throughout, he presents examples of how to plan and carry out research and practice in the community.
The principles underlying the examples both enhance the relevance of the research and practice and increase the potential of community residents to use the findings for their own purposes. A compendium of classic statements of community psychology's philosophical and historical underpinnings, Becoming Ecological is a must-read for scholars and practitioners of community psychology and for those in the fields of public health, social work, community development, education, and applied anthropology.