Community Intervention Guided by Theoretical Development

  • Clifford R. O’Donnell
  • Roland G. Tharp


In the first edition of this Handbook we authored a chapter entitled “Community Intervention and the Use of Multidisciplinary Knowledge” (O’Donnell &Tharp, 1982). Our purpose was to suggest a redirection in the community applications of behavior modification. We reviewed the considerable accomplishments of community applications of behavior theory in a variety of different settings, especially in the home and school. Next, we observed the limits of these accomplishments, and two factors were identified as crucial barriers to advances in knowledge and practice: (1) the lack of knowledge as to how generalization and maintenance of behavior change may be arranged, and (2) the lack of knowledge about everyday settings themselves. We suggested that the methods and concepts of other disciplines are required to overcome these limitations and provided examples of the contributions of some of these methods and concepts. We argued that this multidisciplinary knowledge provides links with behavioral methods and thus potentially extends the potential of community programs. Seven years later, we continue to believe that resolution of generalization/maintenance problems requires knowledge of everyday settings.


Social Competence Activity Setting Community Intervention Community Psychology Behavior Setting 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • Clifford R. O’Donnell
  • Roland G. Tharp
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of Hawaii at ManoaHonoluluUSA

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