Psychology 812

PSYC 812: Rural Cultural Issues

Prerequisites: Admission into Psy.D. program or permission of instructor

Credit Hours: (3)

This course will include an exploration of (a) the unique features of rural culture; (b) the past and current issues that have influenced rural cultural development; (c) individual and group characteristics of rural populations, including various minority groups; (d) challenges and assets of the rural cultural setting; and (e) the differential impact of current societal issues on those residing or practicing in rural areas.


Detailed Description of Course


This course may include the following topics:


I. Historical Background

II. Regional Characteristics

        A. Geographical features

        B.  Political policies

        C. Cultural features

                1. Creative expression

                            a. Art

                            b. Music

                            c. Literature

                2.  Cuisine

                3. Customs

        D. Resources

III. Individual and Group Characteristics

        A. Values

                1. Individualism and self-reliance

                2. Conservatism

                3. Religiosity

                4. Work ethic

        B.  Linguistic characteristics

        C.  Familial characteristics

                    1. Systemic characteristics

                            a.  Proximity of family

                            b. Extension of system

                            c.  Elder/child care

                    2. Gender roles

        D. Various minority groups in rural settings

IV. Challenges and Assets

        A. Isolation

        B.  Limited resources

        C.  Limited opportunities

        D.  Technological advances and limitations

        E.  Services

V.  Societal Issues Also Affecting Rural Areas

        A. Substance abuse

        B.  Domestic violence

        C. Poverty

        D. Resources

VI.   Other Considerations

        A.  Evidence based practice

B.      Social justice


Detailed Description of Content of Course

This course will provide students with an overview of the regional, sociopolitical, individual, and group characteristics comprising rural culture. Additionally, the course will focus on challenges and assets of rural life as well as the unique impact current societal issues will have on those residing in rural settings. The course will include a significant amount of reading, writing and group discussion along with experiential activities, a final exam, and possibly individual or group projects. It will primarily be conducted as a seminary with an emphasis on student participation.


Goals and Objectives of the Course

At the end of this course the student should:

1.       Be able to articulate the effects of historical, geographical, historical, and sociocultural influences on rural culture;

2.       Be able to demonstrate familiarity with various forms of rural cultural expression such as art, music, and literature;

3.       Be able to identify and discuss the range of individual and group characteristics commonly found in rural settings;

4.       Be familiar with the distinctive challenges faced by minority groups in a rural setting;

5.       Be able to compare and contrast challenges and assets or rural populations with those in other levels of rurality;

6.       Be familiar with the unique application of common societal issues to those living in a rural setting as well as those practicing in a rural setting;

7.       Be able to integrate social justice issues into considerations of all preceding goals.


Assessment Measures

Students will be assessed using several measures which may include grades on written assignments, participation in group discussion and experiential activities and performance on the final exam and project(s).


Other Course Information



Reviewed and Approval

December 2007