Community Psychology in Cuba Box 1.2
Community Psychology
In Pursuit of Liberation and Well-Being Geoffrey Nelson and Isaac Prilleltensky

Hardback 156mm x 234mm

November 2004 0333922816

608 Pages £60.00

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Of particular interest is community psychology in Cuba,

which, as a communist country, has a strong ideological
commitment to economic equality and collective wellbeing
(see Bernal & Marín, 1985). Cuba’s social policies
emphasize full employment, universal health care and
education, and housing, with the goal of promoting
quality of life and preventing social problems (Nikelly,
1987). In spite of material deprivation resulting from
the embargo by the US and the loss of support of the
former Soviet Union, Cuba boasts high rates of literacy
and few problems related to malnutrition, homelessness,
anti-social behaviour or alcoholism. What role has
psychology played in Cuba? It is interesting to note that
some more traditional clinical practices have been
retained in Cuban psychology, such as the emphasis on
psychological testing (Bernal, 1985). At the same time,
however, Cuban psychology is guided by a ‘pragmatic,
action-oriented model focused on resolving
community needs in areas such as health education’
(p. 234). When psychologists graduate
work immediately and are incorporated
sectors of society: industry, education,
services, and corrections among others
At present the work of psychologists is focused helping
citizens face the difficult economic
Research is directed at the effects of the
on the Cuban family, formation and strengthening
values, and the impact of tourism on
Calviño, 1996). Psychologists are aware
of the ‘special period’ on their own
professional behaviour, as they are not
adverse effects of the social and economic
(Sánchez Valdés, Prilleltensky,Walsh Bowers
Community Psychology in Cuba Box 1.2