Pathways through Adolescence: Individual Development in Relation to Social Contexts

By Lisa J. Crockett; Ann C. Crouter | Go to book overview

CHAPTER THIRTEEN
Community-Based Action Research and Adolescent Development: Commentary
Aaron T. Ebata University of IllinoisThe chapter by Small (chap. 12, this volume) describes the Teen Assessment Project (TAP) -- a collaborative process that makes citizens, practitioners, and researchers partners in a research effort that attempts to (a) meet the practical concerns of communities, and (b) contribute to the scholarly goals of social science. Small contends that this community-based action-research approach has four positive consequences. Specifically, it can:
increase the likelihood of community action by increasing the community's interest and investment in the research process;
contribute to more enlightened policies and program planning;
provide an opportunity for educating citizens, practitioners, and researchers; and
contribute to broadening our understanding of adolescents and their contexts of development.

In this chapter, I briefly comment on each of these points by providing additional examples and pointing out some of the strengths and limitations of Small's approach. I also discuss some findings from the TAP, and comment on the opportunities and challenges this approach provides in contributing to our knowledge of communities and their effects on adolescent development.

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