Influencing Social Policy synthesizes current kwledge about how psychologists influence social policy to serve the public interest. The volume builds upon interviews with 79 applied psychologists about their experiences in the policy domain, with special focus on the work of applied developmental psychologists, applied social psychologists, and community psychologists. Additional foundations of the volume include a review of social science scholarship across a wide range of disciplines, and author Kenneth Maton's 30 years of teaching on the topic, including frequent interactions with Washington, DC, policy experts. Together, these sources provide in-depth information about how applied psychologists influence social policy, the factors that contribute to their success, the challenges they face, and the approaches used to address those challenges. The policy influences described span all three branches of government: legislative, executive, and judicial. The policy content areas are diverse, including the death penalty prohibition for adolescents, early childhood education, gay marriage, gender discrimination in the workplace, health and mental health care reform, homelessness, home visiting programs, sexually abused child witness treatment, status offender diversion from the juvenile justice system, substance abuse prevention, and many others. Influencing Social Policy is a must-have resource for graduate students and professionals in a wide variety of disciplines with interests in influencing social policy, including psychology, education, public health, social work, policy studies, anthropology, and sociology.
Kenneth I. Maton is a Professor of Psychology and Affiliate Professor of Public Policy at University of Maryland, Baltimore County. His primary areas of research are minority student achievement and empowering community settings. He has taught a graduate level course on social policy for the past 30 years, received the Special Contributions to Public Policy Award from the Society for Community Research and Action in 2013, and served as lead co-editor of the volume Investing in Children, Youth, Families, and Communities: Strengths-based Research and Policy.