Bridging the gap between research and practice by strengthening academic-community partnerships for violence research.
Objectives: This commentary seeks to highlight the benefits of community-based participatory research (CBPR) and promote its use in the violence field. Community perspectives remain underrepresented in the CBPR literature despite the emphasis on equitable partnerships and shared ownership in the research process. Method: Informal interviews were conducted with 10 community partners to understand their perspectives on using and participating in research. Results: Several recommendations for strengthening academic-community research partnerships emerged from the community partners’ responses. They were: (a) conduct research that is useful to communities, with a focus on evidence-based practices and cost-benefit analyses; (b) involve community partners early in the development of research questions to ensure that local needs are addressed; (c) engage in frequent and open communication and maintain transparency about research goals and roles and responsibilities of each partner; (d) provide benefits to communities during the research process to promote professional development and build capacity; and (e) disseminate findings quickly, using outlets accessible to communities, and translate into strategies for practice. Conclusion: Although the recommendations require significant investments of time and resources by all partners, use of CBPR can contribute to increased development of innovative and sustainable violence prevention programs, services, and policies that are uniquely informed by scientific evidence and community expertise. By emphasizing partnerships with communities, CBPR helps to reduce the gap between research and practice and facilitates the inclusion of community strengths and resilience as valuable components of violence prevention and intervention.
American Psychological Association
Yuan, N. P., Gaines, T. L., Jones, L. M., Rodriguez, L. M., Hamilton, N., & Kinnish, K. (2016). Bridging the gap between research and practice by strengthening academic-community partnerships for violence research. Psychology of Violence, 6, 27-33. doi: 10.1037/vio0000026.
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