American Journal of Community Psychology

, Volume 14, Issue 5, pp 457–478 | Cite as

Stress-coping-support in rural communities: A model for primary prevention

  • Mary Beth Kenkel


Because of the relatively small and homogeneous population in rural communities, community-wide prevention efforts are often more manageable than in urban areas. Community needs and resources can be identified more easily, and the feasibility of different interventions can be assessed more readily.

To guide the rural prevention agent in developing community programs, the stress-coping-support framework has been proposed here. The value of this model is that it delineates the aspects of community life that must be assessed, and it outlines several different intervention goals. The model in its most general form proposes that prevention activities should reduce stress, increase coping, and build support. While this model can be applied to any community or target group, the framework has been elaborated here to address the unique physical, occupational, and societal characteristics of rural communities.

Although some of the issues in applying this model to rural, as opposed to urban, areas have been pointed out here, the variation among rural communities has not been addressed fully. The different types of rural communities, e.g., the mining town, the isolated farmlands, the Indian reservation, have unique characteristics which may determine whether a proposed prevention program is needed, feasible, and effective.

It is hoped that rural practitioners, long sensitive to the need for prevention, will use this model to devise additional prevention directions and to generate useful and culturally syntonic programs for their communities.


Prevention Program Primary Prevention Rural Community Intervention Goal Prevention Activity 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mary Beth Kenkel
    • 1
  1. 1.California School of Professional Psychology-FresnoFresno

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