Current research interests and projects can be placed within the following contexts::

1.The Community and Social Capital

Through the Valencia University Faculty of Psychology  Doctorate in Social Psychology, a part of the group is focused on the community. This work deals with developments in the theoretical and applied study of existing relationships, community participation and a sense of belonging, with specific reference to a neighbourhood in the Valencia city centre.  The work is funded by the Manises Youth Council  and the Valencia University Ibero-american Masters in Community Psychology. This project required the legal constitution of a not-for-profit association for community development research (ADECOM – Association for Community Development, 1993) and this was the first step in the process of the formal formation of our Research Group. Social capital research has been contextualizing in Social Needs and Health Enquires at Casablanca Neighbourhood. Last version integrates the Quality of Life measure: WHOQOL- bref (Aragon Government, 2009-2011).

In addition to urban analysis, the group has worked in a rural context, for example, through the Faculty of Human and Social Sciences at Teruel, research has been undertaken on the psychosocial impact of migratory processes in the province (University of Zaragoza Vice-Rectorate for Research, 2003-2006).

The group has studied processes of identity and community development from an intercultural and historical perspective, with the objectives of analysing the community characteristics of territories and collectives, identifying risk factors, needs and resources and designing prevention and social intervention projects.

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2. Community Determinants of Health

Based on our institutional and academic experience in health and the community, in 1996, we designed a health survey protocol for primary care in health centres. Our model incorporates psychosocial factors into governmental surveys and has been employed in a number of research projects, examples include:

  1. The measurement of the influence of community support on the community health system (Ministry of Health, 1997).
  2. The use of neighbourhood health resources (Government of Aragon, 2000).
  3. Sexual and reproductive behaviour in Spain (Ministry of Education, 2011).

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3. Lifestyles and Health

In collaboration with the Public Administration we have developed research projects on the social perception of nutrition-health crises and relationships between nutrition, sport, leisure and lifestyles.

Group members have participated in integrated European programmes, such as: Healthy Aging (2000-2003); European Cultural Heritage (2002); Choosing foods, eating meals, sustaining independence and quality of life in older people (2003-2005).

Through the Association for Applied Social Studies, we have undertaken operative research on habits of nutrition and consumption (Immigration Office, 2004; The Bofia Foundation, 2003-2005; The Catalan Consumer Agency, 2006).

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4. Identity, Gender and Wellbeing

Our group receives funding from the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs - National Institute for Women, the Aragonese Institute for Women  and the Institut de la Dona, as part of the European research and development programmes and this has allowed us to integrate a gender perspective into the study of wellbeing and lifestyles:

  1. Women and Health: a Community and Psychosocial Approach (2003/2006).
  2. Dones Cap de Familia monoparental, les condicions d´access a l´habitage (2006/2007).

It is clear that the sex/gender system is one of the most potent factors in social stratification and inequality. Moreover, gender plays a central role in the processes of identity and social wellbeing. Research on socialisation, the construction of subjectivity and gender violence can provide a vital perspective on the study of social capital.

The University of Zacatecas (Mexico) interdisciplinary project “Women and Interculturality: Plurality and Diversity of Gender Studies in Sociocultural Areas in Transformation” offers a critical reflection of these issues and underlines the need to develop intervention strategies.

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