Community-Based Participatory Research (CBPR): Towards Equitable Involvement of Community in Psychology Research

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Abstract

Community-based participatory research (CBPR) answers the call for more patient-centered, community-driven research approaches to address growing health disparities. CBPR is a collaborative research approach that equitably involves community members, researchers, and other stakeholders in the research process and recognizes the unique strengths that each bring. The aim of CBPR is to combine knowledge and action to create positive and lasting social change. With its origins in psychology, sociology, and critical pedagogy, CBPR has become a common research approach in the fields of public health, medicine, and nursing. Although it is well aligned with psychology’s ethical principles and research aims, it has not been widely implemented in psychology research. The present article introduces CBPR to a general psychology audience while considering the unique aims of and challenges in conducting psychology research. In this article, we define CBPR principles, differentiate it from a more traditional psychology research approach, retrace its historical roots, provide concrete steps for its implementation, discuss its potential benefits, and explore practical and ethical challenges for its integration into psychology research. Finally, we provide a case study of CBPR in psychology to illustrate its key constructs and implementation. In sum, CBPR is a relevant, important, and promising research framework that may guide the implementation of more effective, culturally appropriate, socially just, and sustainable community-based psychology research.

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