Youth Participatory Action Research (YPAR)
What We Do
Youth-Nex’s Youth Participatory Action Research (YPAR) initiative has created YPAR Nexus – a collection of resources to support adults partnering with youth in research design and implementation.
YPAR Nexus: Connecting Youth and Research
What is YPAR?
YPAR is an innovative approach to positive youth and community/organization development that recognizes the important role youth can and should play in the research process. By moving away from longstanding adult-centered research traditions, YPAR creates the space and facilitates the ability of youth to examine and address social issues within their own community/organization.
Why use YPAR?
YPAR’s focus on youth voice, activism, community transformation, and intergenerational learning contributes to the personal development of youth and the betterment of society. Past YPAR initiatives have suggested several potential benefits to introducing YPAR into a community/organization, including:
- Empowerment of youth voices: Youth are seen as knowledge experts fully capable of idea formulation, decision-making, and actively participating in community transformation. Youth participating in YPAR can express their perspectives and enhance their problem-solving skills in a validating space.
- Collaborative youth-adult partnerships: YPAR challenges traditional power imbalances between youth and adults. Instead of defaulting to the often implicit notion that the knowledge or expertise of adults is more valuable than youth (i.e., ‘adults know best’), youth-adult YPAR partnerships intentionally cross generational divides to address issues and find solutions that benefit all stakeholders.
- Community transformation: The underlying purpose of YPAR is to use research findings to address social injustices and positively transform communities. Holistic community development requires the commitment, collaboration, and empowerment of all stakeholders to create inclusive communities where everyone can thrive.
How to use the YPAR Nexus?
The YPAR Nexus includes several resources, tools, and activities to support communities/organizations in starting (and continuing) YPAR initiatives. Recognizing that each context is unique and specific needs will vary, the resources are designed to be downloaded and modified to align with your team's needs, goals, and priorities.
Join our YN YPAR community or to receive updates when new resources are available.
YPAR Nexus Resources
This resource for adults describes what YPAR is and what YPAR is not.
This resource for youth describes what YPAR is and how youth are researchers not research subjects.
This resource for adults has reflection questions to assess readiness to launch a YPAR project, recruit a youth-adult research team, and plan/prepare for the collaborative work.
This resource for adults includes a checklist with “key ingredients” that facilitate the success of YPAR work.
This resource for adults has to-do lists to complete before starting a YPAR project.
This resource for adults has 4 frameworks for conceptualizing engagement in youth-adult partnerships.
This resource for adults provides instructions on how to use exit tickets after a YPAR collaborative session.
YPAR Workshop: Elevating Student Voice to Improve Relationships, Programs & Policies
During the first half of this workshop, participants got a a brief introduction to YPAR, and then heard testimonials and lessons learned from students & educators with YPAR experience during a panel discussion.
Assistant Research Professor Shereen El Mallah introduces opportunities to better engage youth in the research process and why it can be so beneficial.