Imagining Participatory Action Research in Collaboration with Children: An Introduction

When thinking about issues that affect children, community psychologists have most frequently conceptualized important stakeholders as parents and extended family members, family advocates, teachers, mental health professionals, and other adults in children’s lives. These adults may be consulted in interviews or focus groups, usually responding to the problem as conceptualized by the researcher. Increasingly, adult stakeholders and older youth may take on more participatory roles. Rarely, however, are children consulted or asked to help formulate the problem definition or proximate solution. Indeed, research is typically done for children, but not with children. This special issue is a collection of papers about participatory action research with children who are middle school age or younger, and is intended to stimulate dialogue and to offer alternatives when conducting research that affects children.

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Regina Langhout

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