Faculty Profile

Sharon Kingston

Associate Professor of Psychology (2009)

Contact Information


Kaufman Building Room 170


Sharon Kingston is a clinical community psychologist. Her research interests include neighborhood effects on individual and family well-being with particular emphasis on identifying aspects of successful parenting in high-risk urban neighborhoods, prevention and health promotion in low-income communities and factors related to early initiation of substance use among children and adolescents.


  • B.A., State University of New York at Purchase, 1989
  • M.A., University of Rhode Island, 1996
  • Ph.D., 2001

2016-2017 Academic Year

Fall 2016

PSYC 375 Rsch Methods in Comm Psyc
This course will emphasize gaining advanced knowledge and skills in the research methodologies of community psychology, answering the question: How does community psychology seek to scientifically understand relationships between environmental conditions and the development of health and well-being of all members of a community? Students will gain and practice skills in consultation and evaluation of programs to facilitate psychological competence and empowerment, and prevent disorder. Specifically, students will: (a) consider ways to assess and be responsive to the needs of people from marginalized populations with diverse socio-cultural, educational, and ethnic backgrounds; (b) become familiar with innovative programs and practices geared towards prevention and empowerment of disenfranchised groups; (c) apply learning (of theory and research strategies) to a problem in the community; and (d) develop skills in collaborating with Carlisle-area community members in identifying, designing, implementing, and interpreting community-based research. Prerequisites: 201 and 202.

HEST 400 Senior Sem in Health Studies
The course will take an interdisciplinary approach to understanding childhood obesity and nutritional status among children in the U.S. We will examine the interaction of multiple causes of child obesity including sociological, psychological, economic, business, public health and medical perspectives in order to understand how to prevent childhood obesity and improve children’s nutritional status. We will also examine structural inequality as a social determinant of poor health. In this community-based research course, students will work with our partner agency, Partnership for Better Health, on an evaluation of the availability of healthy options in children’s menu’s in non-chain restaurants in the Carlisle area. The class will use a variety of social science research methods to assess the quality of the current offerings, the barriers and facilitators faced by restaurant owners and chefs in offering healthy options and parents’ willingness and ability to get their children to eat healthy meals. Students will use the results of this evaluation to develop a set of recommendations to area restaurants. The Partnership for Better Health will then disseminate these recommendations and support local restaurants in adopting them. Learning goals: • effective team building and collaboration • professional conduct in communication and collaboration with a community partner • high quality oral and written final reports suitable for a community partner • interdisciplinary examination of childhood obesity (sociological, psychological, economic, business, public health, and medical perspectives) • skills associated with research including content analysis, interview and survey research

PSYC 500 Independent Study

PSYC 550 Independent Research

Spring 2017

PSYC 175 Intro to Community Psychology
This course will provide an introduction to the field of community psychology--a field that focuses on persons-in-context and the ways that social issues, institutions, and settings impact individuals' mental health and wellbeing. In the course, we will: (a) review the historical underpinnings of community psychology; (b) examine the field's major tenets and theories, including its emphasis on understanding the role of the environment in human behavior; (c) explore the field's application to a range of clinical and social issues; and (d) emulate the field's commitment to the promotion of social change through research and action. This course is a Health Studies elective.

PSYC 475 Seminar in Comm Psychology
The practice of community psychology is typically directed toward the design and evaluation of strategies aimed at facilitating empowerment, preventing psychological disorders, and promoting social justice and change. The goal is to optimize the well-being of individuals and communities with innovative and alternative interventions designed in collaboration with affected community members and with other related disciplines inside and outside of psychology. This course is an advanced seminar that focuses in depth on special topics in the field of community psychology. Topics may include substance abuse and addiction, delinquency, stress and coping, prevention vs. intervention, social support, and program consultation and evaluation. Students will develop their understanding of topical issues by reading primary and secondary sources and participating in class discussions and applied exercises. Prerequisites: 201 and 202.