Apr 14

Social Change Research and Health

With Social Change research, the researchers are working not only to figure out what’s happening but also to actively make changes in whatever social situation they’re participating in (Penn State, 2014). Sometimes researchers will see an issue that is occurring in a community and in attempts to stop it or alter it, they’ll join the community and try to learn the situation while solving the problem (Schneider et al., 2012).

Participatory research has become quite large in the health department from what I’ve learned. According to Community Campus – Partnership for Health, otherwise known as CCPH, the agencies that fun researchers are interested in looking at social change research as opposed to the types of applied research that were taught earlier in the course (“Community-Based Participatory Research”).

An example of social change research in the health field in recent years is the use of participatory research in radiology by Mathers and colleagues in 2010. In this research, they attempt to acquire knowledge about children with radiology through and with the collaboration of the individuals who were being studied. They wished to ensure that the research methods that they utilized allowed the children to express themselves freely, and participatory research was perfect for that purpose. They wished to research methods of engaging with this children and if their radiology treatment was getting in the way of their participation in certain activities. Their results turned out to be inconclusive, but the researchers’ use of participatory research allowed them to note other things, such as that the children’s treatment didn’t impede their eagerness to participate in the research Mathers et al, 2010).

The national prevention researching agenda has kept its focus primarily on participatory research where the communities can play a part in bringing change. Both public and national initiatives are investing in social change research to study and better health including the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences that has provided translational research grants for the cause as well as the WK Kellogg Foundation’s Community-Based Public Health Initiative and Community Health Scholars Program and CDC’s prevention and urban research centers (“Community-Based Participatory Research”). Social change research is truly growing in the field of health, and I feel that soon we’ll be seeing a lot more of it in health-related research articles.


Community-Based Participatory Research. (n.d.). Community Campus – Partnership for Health: Promoting Health Equality & Social Justice. Retrieved April 21, 2014, from https://depts.washington.edu/ccph/commbas.html

Mathers, S. A., Anderson, H., Mcdonald, S., & Chesson, R. A. (2010). Developing participatory research in radiology: the use of a graffiti wall, cameras and a video box in a Scottish radiology department. Pediatric Radiology, 40(3), 309-317.

Schneider, F. W., Gruman, J. A., and Coutts, L. M. (Eds.) (2012). Applied Social Psychology: Understanding and Addressing Social and Practical Problems (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications. ISBN 978-1412976381

Apr 14

Social Change and Poverty

According to the Census Bureau, 46.5 million Americans are living in poverty making the poverty level at 15 percent in 2012, which is an increase from 2007’s 12.5 percent. In addition, the median household income slightly fell from $51,100 in 2011 to $51,017 in 2012 (Hargreaves, 2013). An income of $23, 492 for a family of four or an individual making $11,720 are considered to be living in poverty. The American poverty rate displays alarming numbers and figures, yet there are many factors that contribute poverty; the economy, family dissolution, and government spending contribute to the poverty rates.

Since the 1970s, the lack of economic growth has contributed to poverty, but is not the main, underlying factor. During the 1970s and 1980s, pay rates were falling while poverty was rising and unemployment averaged 6.2 percent and 7.3 percent, respectively. Wages began to rise and poverty began to fall after the mid-1990s, while unemployment fell to 4.8 percent between 1995 and 2000 (Haskins & Sawhill, 2007). It’s interesting to mention these facts considering the government wants to raise the minimum wage rate to $10.10 from $7.25. Therefore, one may ask and become aware of the effect raising the minimum wage can have on the overall economy. Family dynamics has become a great contributor to American poverty. Increased divorce rates, falling marriage rates, and rising of unwedded births more than doubled the amount of children living with a single mothers. Furthermore, a household headed by a female living in poverty is five times greater than a married couple living in poverty (Haskins & Sawhill, 2007).

Lastly, government spending affects the poverty rate in America. The 1960s marked a time where programs were created to reduce and lessen poverty effect have grown. But, poverty was reduced less than desired. Spending grew from $89 billion to $585 billion due to substantial health care rates. American poverty has become an issue due to the economy and low wages among the American people. This problem has contributed to the family dynamic and changes in depositions. Although government spending has grown substantially, poverty has not been a priority with government spending.

Poverty would greatly benefit from social change research. Social change research is conducted for the betterment of individuals and the world around them. It can be conducted on a communal, institutional, or national level. Most importantly, the participatory (action) research of social change research can help reduce poverty rates. In participatory (action) research methods, researchers become a part of the community or social situation and fully learn about issue(s) within the community (PSU, 2014). When dealing with poverty, it is imperative for researcher to learn from individuals within the community and how they can overcome poverty. A needs assessment will be sufficient to know exactly what needs to be improved. For example, the economy may contribute to poverty, not being a single mother. Therefore, addressing family deposition would not be an effective method for the individual. Participatory research seeks to understand and improve society by changing it. The researchers and participants can improve and understand adapted behaviors and situations they engage in through self reflective inquiry (Baum, MacDougall, & Smith, 2006). According to Baum and colleagues (2006), the participatory method should be empowering and encourage people to have increased control of their lives. I believe fully and sincerely engaging people can bring a sense of belonging and empowerment. Thankfully, I have never experienced living in poverty, but I do volunteer at a homeless shelter and I have observed body language before and after I engage in verbal communication. It’s important to provide hope and encouragement, and an overall sense of empowerment. Through participatory (action) method, poverty can be reduced by immersing one’s self in the community and learn about the issues within the community.

Baum, F., MacDougall, C., & Smith, D. (2006). Participatory action research.Journal of epidemiology and community health, 60(10), 854.

Hargreaves, S. (2013). CNN Money. 15% of Americans living in Poverty. Retrieved from http://money.cnn.com/2013/09/17/news/economy/poverty-income/

Haskins, R. & Sawhill, I. (2007). The Future of Children. Journal Issue: The Next Generation of Antipoverty Policies. (17). 3-16.

The Pennsylvania State University. (2014). Psychology 424: Applied Social Psychology. Commentary. Lesson 13: Social Change/Participatory Research. Retrieved from https://courses.worldcampus.psu.edu/sp14/psych424/001/content/14_lesson/01_page.html

Apr 14

Graffiti & Social Change

In the city of Fresno, and in the state of California in general, there is a huge problem with graffiti. I have seen many terrible instances of vandalism locally, and I have witnessed groups of young teenagers spraying all kinds of objects with paint. One striking instance comes to mind. A local freeway wall was covered in the words “Must Commit Murder”, stretching just over 100 feet for everyone to read on their way to work (KMPH, 2013). On a personal note, when I lived in a fourplex, near a community college, the large tree in our front yard was covered in graffiti in just one night. My husband did research and found that it could be scraped off and that the tree would survive, which is what we did. While the symbols and vulgar messages were gone, the patches of raw bark were a constant reminder of how intrusive graffiti can be.

This week we explored how community-based research can be effective in creating social change among youth and adults. In a community like Fresno, graffiti usually coexists with participation in gangs. Youth membership in dangerous gangs is a separate challenge for intervention strategists. For those who are not linked or permanently affiliated with a gang, opportunities have been made available for artistic expression outside of vandalism. Businesses in an area known as the “Tower District” have hired the most skilled graffiti artists to create murals on the walls facing the street. Even more honorable, a local gallery took submissions in a contest to decide who would do the graffiti art for their huge brick wall.


Offering outlets for this style of creative expression is important. Beyond imagery, graffiti can act as a way to communicate with other individuals, and to state a protest to a current event. In 1995, the Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin was assassinated. Spontaneous expression through graffiti was exhibited by teens in that nation. This mode of expression was seen as an attempt for collectivism, a ritual to ease the pain and stress of the traumatic event that had transpired (Klingman et al., 2000).

There is an opportunity in communities that struggle to control this form of expression to change the culture of illegal vandalism into a desired art. Providing opportunities for artists to be commissioned by a business or non-profit is a huge deal for some of these individuals who have real talent. Public space could also be provided, similar to the graffiti walls in Venice Beach, Ca, where permits are required to join in on the artistic movement. Eventually, those individuals who mark curbs, freeways, or trees, would be forced out by a new standard for graffiti.



Klingman, A., Shalev, R., & Pearlman, A. (2000). Graffiti: A creative means of youth coping with collective trauma. The Arts in Psychotherapy, 27(5), p. 299-307

doi: 10.1016/S0197-4556(00)00072-1

KMPH Fox 26. (2013). ‘Gotta Commit Murder’ Graffiti Upsets Fresno Drivers. Retrieved April 21, 2014 from http://www.kmph-kfre.com/story/22848722/gotta-commit-murder-graffiti-upsets-fresno-drivers

Apr 14

Social Change

Social change plays a role in balancing the inequalities and injustices whether it be on a community, national, institutional, or international level. (Leadership Paradigms, n.d.) What can result from collective action is the development of policies and solutions that have the ability to change law, attitudes, behaviors, and institutions. (Leadership Paradigms, n.d.) Social action, citizen participation, mass mobilization, and popular education are all strategies that can be utilized to achieve social change. (Schneider, et al, p. 288, 2012)

The efforts put forth by individuals and communities to create social change are often labeled social change strategies. (Lewis & Lambert, p. 407, 2014)  Certain groups use social change strategies in an effort to combat prejudice, racism, and sexism. (Lewis & Lambert, p. 407, 2014) Seidman and Rappaport’s (1986) theory of social change strategies states there are two forms of social change strategies, first-order and second-order social change. (Lewis & Lambert, p. 407, 2014)

First-order social change strategies address problems by looking at ways an individual or group can adapt to and function within a certain system (e.g., business, government, education) without changing the structure of the system.  (Lewis & Lambert, p. 408, 2014) An example of this would be a company with a history of homophobia having an employee tell another employee why being homophobic is inappropriate. (Lewis & Lambert, p. 408, 2014) This intervention does not change the system it just helps people work and adapt to the current systemic structure, which may only improve individual function. (Lewis & Lambert, p. 408, 2014)

Second-order social change can improve individual functioning, however it involves “challenging the status quo and fundamentally changing the systemic structures that are in place.” (Lewis & Lambert, p. 408, 2014) An example of this would be an employee that works for a company that is homophobic demanding that this issue be confronted so that the homophobia would no longer take place within the company. Lewis & Lambert, p. 408, 2014)

One group that has historically used social change strategies as a means of coping with a systemic structure are African Americans combating racism. (Lewis & Lambert, p. 407, 2014) From the Black Nationalist Movement to Transformationalist these social strategies fought to eradicate racism and redistribute resources and power throughout the social structure. (Lewis & Lambert, p. 407, 2014)

Our beliefs about our own competence (self-efficacy) can influence our ability to be agents of change. (Bain, Hornsey, Bongiorno, Kashima, Crimston, p., 523, 2012)  Researchers have suggested that individuals with high levels of self-efficacy are more likely to engage in social change behavior because their belief about their own competence enables them to face challenges with confidence and mastery. (Pinquart, Silbereisen, Juang, p. 341, 2004)  These individuals are also less prone to anxiety, depression and worry. (Pinquart et al., p. 341, 2004)

Research has shown a positive correlation between self-efficacy, goal attainment, and locus control. (Garrin, p. 45, 2013) According to Bandura (1997) college students who possess this control are “better prepared to put forth effort toward inducing change and are more motivated to withstand the change process.” (Garrin, p. 47, 2013) This trait is essential because social change does not happen overnight and there could be setbacks and multiple stages. (Garrin, p. 47, 2013) In his experiment Bandura (1997) also witnessed self-protective behavior, rational thought that promotes positive self-esteem, and productivity all of which can contribute to risk analysis and strategic planning needed for social change programs. (Garrin, p. 47, 2013) College students more than ever have campus wide opportunities to enhance their self-efficacy by becoming financially independent, getting involved in campus wide initiatives, which can educate others, promote self-reliance, and cause community level social impact. (Garrin, p. 47, 2013) Thus creating a “feedback loop,” when students internalize the knowledge obtained they disseminate it by becoming future leaders and educators and thereby creating social change.

 Perhaps what we really need to take away from this is, if we believe we can do something, we usually can do it. Real social change can take place when we as a collective believe we can make things happen.


Bain, P. G., Hornsey, M. J., Bongiorno, R., Kashima, Y., & Crimston, D. (2013). Collective Futures: How Projections About the Future of Society Are Related to Actions and Attitudes Supporting Social Change. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 39(4), 523-539.

Garrin, J. (2013). From College Student to Change Agent: A Triadic Model of Self-Efficacy, Attribution, and Appraisal .Journal of Social Change5(1), 40-57.

Lewis, K. M., & Lambert, M. C. (2006). Measuring Social Change Preferences in African American Adolescents: Development of the Measure of Social Change for Adolescents (MOSC-A).Assessment, 13(4), 406-416.

Pinquart, M., Silbereisen, R. K., & Juang, L. P. (2004). Moderating Effects of Adolescents’ Self-Efficacy Beliefs on Psychological Responses to Social Change. Journal of Adolescent Research,19(3), 340-359.

What Is Social Change?. (n.d.).Leadership Paradigms. Retrieved April 16, 2014, from http://www.leadershipparadigms.com/docs

Apr 14

Social Change and Voting

Voting is socially meaningful when we think and consider what it really means. Dictionary.com defines vote as: a formal expression of opinion or choice, either positive or negative, made by an individual or body of individuals. Much social change has come about in the United States through voting. Voting rights have changed from inception of the country to present day. Minorities such as African Americans, Native Americans and Mexicans are now free to vote. This was not the case for most of the two-hundred plus years of existence of the United States. Even women were not allowed to vote until 1920. The 19th Amendment (which states that — The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex) allowed women the right to vote. And those who voted had to be literate. The Federal Voting Rights Act of 1965 banned literacy tests and provided federal enforcement of voting. And it was not until 1975 that Mexican Americans received the right to vote.

My affectively based attitude (emotions and values) had been to believe that it did not really matter if I voted because the same “powerful” people are in control and regardless of my opinion or vote they would always be in charge. My internal justification brought my attitude to concur with my behavior (not voting). Needless to say I held a number of negative beliefs. Since we can have good feelings about something in spite of having negative beliefs, I have changed my attitude towards voting.  My modified view is that if I don’t participate in the voting privilege, then I should not have the right to complain. I still hold a belief about powers that be, but I am more positive (less distrusting) than I used to be and my behavior has changed where I vote and advocate voting to promote social change to others.

Every vote is important. One may say or argue that one vote does not make any difference. Perhaps, but that is not a good reason not to vote. Whether we like it or not, politicians influence a whole range of items in our lives. Political influences how our children are educated, the taxes we pay and the services that we receive. Even clean air and water is influenced by politicians. Down to how the way our towns look and ultimately the way we feel about each other. Voting is very important and our responsibility because we owe it as a matter of morality to the men and women who sacrificed (even their lives) for our benefit. Voting is rewarding because it is a formal expression of opinion or choice and provides us with sense of something bigger than ourselves. Voting today can have a permanent and lasting impact on future generations. Votes made today can impact the quality of life of our children, grandchildren and generations to come. We can’t afford not to vote.




Apr 14

Weight Watchers

The health movement is sweeping the United States in full force right now. We watch TV shows, read books, and conduct research on the best way to lose weight and stay healthy. From the time I was a child and first watched television up until now I have noticed the public media changing. The media is one of the largest avenues to promote social change.

Generally a key component the media has used to promote anything is to use a famous actor or actress. In regards to the weight loss movement we see this on weight watchers commercials. Everyday Americans like to watch success stories because they feel like they will be able to accomplish weight loss too. Weight Watchers is a global entity yet it contains smaller branches located in local communities throughout the US. Weight Watchers is a prime example of community based weight loss efforts. Participatory research is placing researchers inside of the community and when they are trying to learn about issues within the community. (Yarwood, l. 13 p.1) Weight Watchers has taken the knowledge that individuals need outside support to lose weight and created a place for that. There are group meetings that bring people together to share their struggles and as a result they end up encouraging each other to keep going. This is key especially when one cheats on their diet and ends up not losing as much weight as they would like.

As a continual effort to ensure their success continues, Weight Watchers conducts ongoing research to monitor the benefits. The benefits range from weight loss, minimal cost, and lowered cardiovascular diseases, just to name a few. (Weight Watchers, 2014) Community-based efforts tend to be the most effective in weight loss programs. The above mentioned benefits were the highest for those in an interactive and community environment like Weight Watchers. While researchers try to mitigate to spike in obesity, I expect to see more community based efforts pop up.
Weight Watchers International, Inc. Scientific Compendium. 2014. Retrieved from http://www.weightwatchers.com/about/prs/wwi_template.aspx?GCMSID=1003061
Yarwood, MIchelle. (2014) Lesson 13: Social Change Participatory Research. Retrieved from https://courses.worldcampus.psu.edu/sp14/psych424/001/toc.html

Apr 14

Social Change and Parents

As social change becomes more common in psychology, those who are in this field should keep up on the information that is important to continue social change. One research of social change is participatory research. This is when those who are looking into the issues are part of that community. With this research, most psychologists have a goal of solving the problems that they come across.

While looking into communities, there are several problems that could be found. No matter how “perfect” a community may seem, there will still be flaws. One issue that could be found is the issue of parenting. This can be seen by observing the different parent involvement in a community.

It is no secret that not all parents are involved in their children’s lives. Some parents simply do not have time because they are too involved in what they are doing and some may not have time because they are single parents that work several jobs to support their children. Either way, while observing some communities one would find parents that do not have much involvement in their children’s lives.

The National Center for Education Statistics reported 90% of elementary school parents attend general school meetings. ( Nokali, N., Bachman J. H., & Votruba-Drzal, E.) Examples of the meetings could be a board meetings or PTO meetings. With that being said, parent involvement is important for schools to be able to better the education of the children. When parents are giving opinions they are allowing the school to know what their children need. Although some parents may not always have the time, even attending a few meeting a month or a year could give their children a better learning environment.

In my opinion, I think that social change in school is necessary. Often, parents place blame on teachers and the school for not giving their children the education that they need. What they need to do is step back and look at what they could do to help the school better the child’s education. As a mother, I will attend meetings when my daughter becomes old enough to go to school. I want my daughter to have the best possible education that she can. If attending a meeting can allow my child a better education then it is not question to me if I should go or not. Parents are their children’s voice at times. If our child needs a better path, then we should stand up and let others know what could be done.


Nermeen E. El Nokali, Heather J. Bachman, and Elizabeth Votruba-Drzal. Parent Involvement and Children’s Academic and Social Development in Elementary School. Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2973328/

Schneider, F. W., Gruman, J. A., & Coutts, L. M. (2005). Applied social psychology: Understanding and addressing social and practical problems. SAGE Publications. Kindle Edition.

Apr 14

Social Change/Participatory Action Research




/* Style Definitions */
{mso-style-name:”Table Normal”;
mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt;
mso-fareast-font-family:”Times New Roman”;

I had never  heard of this type of research, Participatory Action Research ( PAR), but I actually felt like it seemed to focus on community residents having more of an involvement in the research. The participants are knowledgeable in the issues because of discussions and interactions and those who will be involved in the change should take part in the research              ( Schneider, Gruman & Coutts, 2012). According to the article on Psychology and Social Change, I think it’s great that communities which may have been taken advantage of  could receive research to assisting in helping to find solutions to groups who have been overlooked ( Brydon-Miller, 1997).  Positive social change should be the goal in most research. I like the idea where participants  integrate their information, according to their strengths. Sometimes, what has been proven through research to work in some areas may not be what works everywhere and I feel like this is why  this research is interesting to me. I also believe that  trust and commitment are important in research. It reminds me of a group project  I participated in two semesters ago where each participant is held responsible for a piece  and everyone needs to be “on board” for the project to come out successfully. I did a project in health psychology and commitment to being on-line when everyone else was and trusting that each person would have the promised piece on the due date was so important. We had a “leader” who was wonderful in integrating every piece so that it sounded like it was coming from one person and we would all be in agreement at every step from the topic, to the general information, to making sure that the references were all valid for this particular project. It actually was sort of fun to stay so connected for those three weeks, especially since it was an on-line class and we never spoke face-to-face. I also feel like this type of research would invigorate other community members to want to get involved to make a difference.

I think that this could almost be  a class that the undergraduates take to find solutions to problems in their communities, with the psychologist being the “leader.” . I definitely liked the example from East Lansing, Michigan where they were working with the homeless who resided in the community. This research is integrating the homeless into the minds of the community and assisting them with attention so that they can get out of this scenerio. Raising money and giving media attention along with  those who had organized meetings is such an important step in this area. Also, in Chicago, Illinois, they are taking great steps to help African Americans in areas of help such  as interviews and helping with communication skills which will hopefully allow them the same job opportunities.

Sometimes, in order to bring about change, members of the community have to feel like a part of something. Have you ever been approached  by someone giving you information on promoting health, but you dismissed them, saying that you just “don’t have a minute to listen” . when actually you really do. You know that it’s important and eating all day at your desk has definitely added some inches to your stomach and less time to feel like going to exercise. Some companies are really focusing on health and allowing employees to exercise for 30 minutes during their work day and that is considered “work” so that exercise can be integrated into a workday. This type of research is becoming more and more important to help the community and empower the individual! I hope I see more of this research in my own community!



Brydon-Miller, M. (1997), Participatory Action Research: Psychology and Social Change. Journal of Social Issues, 53: 657–666. doi: 10.1111/j.1540-4560.1997.tb02454.x

Schneider, F. W., Gruman, J. A., and Coutts, L. M. (Eds.) (2012). Applied Social Psychology: Understanding and Addressing Social and Practical Problems (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.


Apr 14

Childhood Education Participation

Taking part in a group that we want to influence or change shows great dedication and determination.  Lately, bullying and childhood issues have been ever present in the news.  The issues encountered by today’s children is likely much bigger than any outside adult, even parent, can comprehend.  It is one thing to say “they” should do something about kids these days, but quite another to actively become part o the solution.

This problem is likely originating, at least in part, from an economic level.  We are too busy earning an income to have the time or to make the time, to be present in schools.  Parents should be actively involved in their children’s school situation from a very young age.  This may be done by volunteering or even working in schools or by participating on the parent teacher association.  With a clear parental presence fro a young age, it is possible to develop friendships between parents and recognition and understanding of the individual children.  With this system in place, students would be less likely to develop bad social habits or rude interactions with peers.  This solution would also apply to drugs, alcohol, and sex in schools because parents are much more likely to catch wind of things when they are present in schools than when they only interaction they have with the educational system is through letter.  Notification about picture day or the latest lice epidemic do not convey the same control that active participation does.

It should also be the responsibility of the school system to create more opportunities for parents to get involved.  More after school meetings, for example, may allow more parents the opportunity to participate in their children’s school environment when work responsibilities take away their daytime availability.  Schools should also create more groups for parents to join and open up more volunteer positions to parents and caretakers.  With more opportunities available at all hours and more parental involvement, a drastic change in schools may be seen in the coming years.

We need to be the change that we want to see in the world and in the lives of our children.  Our children deserve to have the security of involved parents, even if it means a financial sacrifice on the part of the family in order to make that happen.  The cost of not doing so is far too high.


Apr 14

Optimism and Marriage

As we have discussed regularly this semester, advancements in technology and the World Wide Web, have brought us closer together as a global community. This week I want to highlight a current event that has taken hold of millions of people involved in the social sphere of YouTube and Twitter. The YouTube stars, Alli and Charles Trippy are known as the World Record holders for most consecutive vlogs or video blogs. For over five years they recorded the beginning of their relationship, proposal, wedding, two brain surgeries (Charles recently finished his last round of chemotherapy for brain cancer), and announcement of separation. While this couple was popular and adored by their 1 million viewers, they are not the first to separate or divorce, and won’t be the last. As a newlywed myself, I found this weeks themes of relationships and optimism to be especially close to my heart. What helps us maintain close and meaningful relationships in our lives?

Schneider et al. (2012) states that romantic couples who exchange optimism will experience greater success in problem solving than do pessimists. Optimism allows each individual to contribute efficient coping strategies, and higher levels of cooperation. Advanced cooperation means that the individual refrains from name calling, belittling the other, or assigning blame (Assad et al., 2013). In times of struggle and poor health, mates found their partner to be more attractive when they exhibited optimistic behavior (Schneider et al., 2012).

Dr. Ben Karney is a professor of social psychology at UCLA and specializes in the stability of intimate relationships during the early years of marriage. In an article for the American Psychological Association, Dr. Karney notes that individuals who are the happiest overall, have a greater ability of highlighting the most positive attributes of their marriage or relationship (Karney, 2010). Global attributions are conclusions that we perceive as having a wide-ranging influence on our lives (Schneider et al., 2012).  More specifically, Karney suggests that individuals who provide specific examples to support global attributions like “my husband is amazing” will experience more happiness within the relationship. This ability is similar to the topic of problem solving that was shared previously.

Life can be very difficult even for more optimistic individuals. Sometimes we are forced to tackle difficult problems that test our ability to stay optimistic. However, when interacting with the people we love, it is important to practice optimistic behaviors. Resolving problems will become easier when optimistic behaviors of cooperation are practiced. Further, allowing one’s self to support positive global attributions allows for a deeper understanding of that original thought. Marriage and partnerships will continue to face challenges, but a path toward optimism can help many maintain close, meaningful relationships.


Assad, K.K., Donnellan M.B., Conger, R.D., (2013). Optimism: An enduring resource for romantic relationships. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 93(2)

Karney, B., (2010). Keeping Marriages Healthy, and Why it’s so Difficult. Retrieved from http://www.apa.org/science/about/psa/2010/02/sci-brief.aspx

Schneider, F.W., Gruman, J.A., & Coutts, L.M., (2012). Applied Social Psychology: Understanding and Addressing Social and Practical Problems. London: Sage Publications.

Skip to toolbar