Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Peace psychologists: Determining the critical contributions
by van Eck, Henriette, Ph.D., Pacifica Graduate Institute, 2015, 342; 3722716
Abstract (Summary)

Peace psychology was recognized by the American Psychological Association (APA) as a specialty area of psychology in 1990. This research study analyses the past 25 years of peace psychologists’ efforts as the Society of Peace, Conflict, and Violence: Peace Psychology Division 48 of the APA (Division 48). Today the field has grown to include an international network of educators, researchers, practitioners, and advocates. The core mission of peace psychology is the transformation of conflict resolution away from violence and toward peacebuilding through psychologically informed interventions that operate at all levels of human relationships.

This research study focuses on both the theory and practice of peace psychology. The psychology informing peace building interventions is reviewed from the inception of psychology to the present, with specific emphasis on contributions from clinical and depth psychology. The research demonstrates how the organized psychological relationships among conflict, peace, and violence form a central axis which governs human relationships. Clinical and depth psychology contribute significantly to understanding the psychological processes of conflict, aggression, and interventions that promote mental health and wellbeing within both individuals and relationships. While these theories illuminate key operations within the mental framework, they also govern processes addressed directly by peace psychology’s interventions.

The three areas reported in the findings include the professional functions performed by peace psychologists, the essential characteristics that are at the center of the practice, and lessons from the lived experiences of the participants. The various roles represented by peace psychologists’ contributions are described because they illustrate specific, identifiable contexts within which participants engaged professionally, and help illuminate how and where peace psychology is practiced. The researcher interviewed seven past presidents of the Division following oral history methodology. The interviews were analyzed using grounded theory. Advice from the leaders informs present and future challenges for the field of peace psychology.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Sipiora, Michael
Commitee: Ghareman, Azarm, Levitt, Julie Meranze
School: Pacifica Graduate Institute
Department: Clinical Psychology
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-B 77/02(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Source Type: DISSERTATION
Subjects: Peace Studies, International Relations, Psychology
Keywords: Clinical psychology, Conflict resolution, Depth psychology, Peace, Peace education, Peace psychology
Publication Number: 3722716
ISBN: 9781339050065
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