Person-Environment Psychology and Mental Health: Assessment and Intervention

By William E. Martin Jr.; Jody L. Swartz-Kulstad | Go to book overview

4
Social Environments and Social Contexts: Social Network Applications in Person -- Environment Psychology

Laura A. Koehly The University of Iowa Victoria A. Shivy Virginia Commonwealth University

Individual's behavior occurs in situ and, whether the setting is the home, the job, or another of life's many arenas, the importance of contextual factors cannot be denied. In most cases, contextual factors are likely to be synonymous with the ambient interpersonal environment in which a particular individual, or system of individuals, functions.

-- Koehly and Shivy ( 1998, p. 3)

The circumstances in which a particular individual finds her or himself clearly impact on that person's behavior. In the psychological arena, circumstances often seem to amount to the intraindividual variables of self-reported affect, beliefs, or cognitions -- in other words, the variables on which clinicians most easily focus and that researchers most expediently study. Despite professional psychology's theoretical acknowledgment of the impact of environmental factors on individuals' behavior, attitudes, and affect, and the recognition that people influence environments, just as environments in

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