Advancing the science of community-level interventions

Am J Public Health. 2011 Aug;101(8):1410-9. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2010.300113. Epub 2011 Jun 16.


Community interventions are complex social processes that need to move beyond single interventions and outcomes at individual levels of short-term change. A scientific paradigm is emerging that supports collaborative, multilevel, culturally situated community interventions aimed at creating sustainable community-level impact. This paradigm is rooted in a deep history of ecological and collaborative thinking across public health, psychology, anthropology, and other fields of social science. The new paradigm makes a number of primary assertions that affect conceptualization of health issues, intervention design, and intervention evaluation. To elaborate the paradigm and advance the science of community intervention, we offer suggestions for promoting a scientific agenda, developing collaborations among professionals and communities, and examining the culture of science.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Community Participation*
  • Health Promotion*
  • Humans
  • Public Health*
  • Social Welfare*