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Greg Townley, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Community Psychology


Greg Townley, Ph.D. Department of Psychology
317 Cramer Hall
Portland State University
1721 SW Broadway
Portland, OR 97207-0751
phone (503) 725-3910
fax (503) 725-3904



What should young people do with their lives today? Many things, obviously. But the most daring thing is to create stable communities in which the terrible disease of loneliness can be cured.    -Kurt Vonnegut


Greg Townley is an Assistant Professor of Community Psychology at Portland State University. He received his Ph.D. in Clinical-Community Psychology from the University of South Carolina, his M.A. in Psychology from the University of South Carolina, and B.A.s in Psychology and Africana Studies from North Carolina State University.

Dr. Townley specializes in Community Psychology with particular interests in the following:

  • The impact of social, psychological, and environmental factors on community participation and inclusion of individuals with psychiatric disabilities
  • Community mental health and recovery from psychiatric disability
  • Homelessness and housing interventions
  • Sense of community theory and measurement
  • The interplay of culture, sense of community, and well-being
  • Social-environmental research methods, including Geographic Information Systems (GIS), neighborhood assessments, and qualitative/ethnographic approaches

Central to Dr. Townley’s work is the promotion of positive, reciprocal relationships between academic and community stakeholders. He has collaborated with numerous community agencies to address and evaluate issues surrounding homelessness, supported housing, and mental health service delivery. He also serves as co-chair of the Society for Community Research and Action (SCRA) Self-Help/ Mutual Support Interest Group.

Representative publications

Kozloff, N., Stergiopoulos, V., Adair, C.E, Cheung, A., Misir, V., Townley, G., Bourque, J., Krausz, M., & Goering, P.N. (in press). The unique needs of homeless youth with mental illness: Baseline findings from a Housing First trial. Psychiatric Services.

Macnaughton, E., Townley, G., Nelson, G., Caplan, R., MacLeod, T., Polvere, L., Isaak, C., Kirst, M., McAll, C., Nolin, D., Patterson, M., Piat, M., & Goering, P. (in press). How does housing catalyze recovery in Housing First participants?: Qualitative findings from the At Home/ Chez Soi project. American Journal of Psychiatric Rehabilitation.

Townley, G., Pearson, L., Lehrwyn, J.M., Prophet, N.T., & Trauernicht, M. (in press). Utilizing participatory mapping and GIS to examine the activity spaces of homeless youth. American Journal of Community Psychology.

Brown, L.D., & Townley, G. (2015). Determinants of engagement in mental health consumer-run organizations.Psychiatric Services, 66(4), 411-417.

Castellow, J., Kloos, B., & Townley, G. (2015).  Previous homelessness as a risk factor for recovery from serious mental illnesses. Community Mental Health Journal, 51(6), 674-684.

Macnaughton, E., Stefancic, A., Caplan, R., Nelson, G., Townley, G., Aubry, T., McCullough, S., Patterson, M., Stergiopoulos, V., Vallee, C., Tsemberis, S., Fleury, M., Piat, M., & Goering, P. (2015). Implementing Housing First Across Sites and Over Time:  Later Fidelity and Implementation Evaluation of a Pan-Canadian Multi-site Housing First Program for Homeless People with Mental Illness. American Journal of Community Psychology, 55(3-4), 279-291.

Nelson, G., Patterson, M., Kirst, M., Macnaughton, E., Isaak, C., Nolin, D., McAll, C., Stergiopolis, V., Townley, G., MacLeod, T., Piat, M., & Goering, P. (2015). Life changes among homeless persons with mental illness: A longitudinal comparison of those entering Housing First or Treatment First. Psychiatric Services, 66(6), 592-597.

Townley, G. (2015). "It helps you not feel so bad- feel like you again": The importance of community for individuals with psychiatric disabilities. Journal of Psychosocial Rehabilitation and Mental Health, 2(2), 113-124.

Warren, P., Van Eck, K., Townley, G., & Kloos, B. (2015). Relationships among religious coping, optimism, and outcomes for persons with psychiatric disabilities. Psychology of Religioin and Spirituality, 7(2), 91-99.

Nelson, G. Stefancic, A., Rae, J., Townley, G., Tsemberis, S., Macnaughton, E., Aubry, T., Distasio, J., Hurtubise, R., Patterson, M., Stergiopoulos, V., Piat, M., & Goering, P. (2014). A mixed methods approach to implementation evaluation of a multi-site Housing First intervention for homeless people with mental illness. Evaluation and Program Planning, 43, 16-26.

Townley, G., & Kloos, B. (2014). Mind over matter? The role of individual perceptions in understanding the social ecology of housing environments for individuals with psychiatric disabilities. American Journal of Community Psychology, 54(3-4), 205-218.

Townley, G., & Sylvestre, J. (Eds.) [special issue]. 2014. Transformative change in community mental health. Global Journal of Community Psychology Practice, 5(1).

Townley, G., & Sylvestre, J. (2014). Toward transformative change in community mental health: Introduction to the special issue. Global Journal of Community Psychology Practice, 5(1), 1-8.

Davis, B.A., Townley, G., & Kloos, B. (2013). The roles of clinical and non-clinical dimensions of recovery in promoting community activities for individuals with psychiatric disabilities. Psychiatric Rehabilitation Journal, 36(1), 5-53.

Townley, G., Miller, H., & Kloos, B. (2013). A little goes a long way: The impact of distal social support on community integration and recovery of persons with psychiatric disabilities. American Journal of Community Psychology, 52, 84-96.

Townley, G., Katz, J., Wandersman, A., Skiles, B., Schillaci, M.J., Timmerman, B.E., and Mousseau, T.A. (2013). Exploring the role of sense of community in the undergraduate transfer student experience. Journal of Community Psychology, 41(3), 277-290.

Parker, A. E., Halberstadt, A. G., Dunsmore, J. C., Townley, G., Bryant, A., Jr., Beale, K. S. & Thompson, J. A. (2012). “Emotions are a window onto one’s heart”: A qualitative analysis of parental beliefs about children’s emotions across three ethnic groups. Monographs of the Society for Research in Child Development, 77(3), 1-144.

Kloos, B., Townley, G. (2011). Neighborhood social climate: Assessing key neighborhood experiences as they relate to psychiatric distress for individuals with serious mental illness. Administration and Policy in Mental Health and Mental Health Services Research, 38, 105-116.

Townley, G. & Kloos, B. (2011). Examining the psychological sense of community for individuals with serious mental illness residing in supported housing environments. Community Mental Health Journal, 47(4), 436-446.

Townley, G., Kloos, B., Green, E.P., & Franco, M. (2011). Reconcilable differences? Human diversity, cultural relativity, and sense of community. American Journal of Community Psychology, 47(1-2), 69-85.

Townley, G. & Kloos, B. (2009). Development of a measure of sense of community for individuals with serious mental illness residing in community settings. Journal of Community Psychology, 37(3), 362-380.

Townley, G., Kloos, B. & Wright, P.A. (2009). Understanding the experience of place: Expanding methods to conceptualize and measure community integration of persons with serious mental illness. Health and Place, 15(2), 520-531.