Using Youth-Led Participatory Action Research to Advance the Mental Health Needs of Latinx Youth During COVID-19

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Youth-led participatory action research (YPAR) is a collaborative approach for engaging young people as experts and leaders in the research process. The purpose of this study is to showcase the potential of this methodology as a tool for social justice and equity work in schools. First, we review transformative and critical research paradigms that underpin the YPAR approach. Second, we provide an illustration of a YPAR project on youth well-being during the COVID-19 pandemic (May–June 2020). Participants included 375 middle- and high-school students living in an agricultural community (92% Latinx/Hispanic). The research design, recruitment, analysis, and interpretation were youth-led with support from adult allies. Youth researchers identified mental health and academic challenges among peers, and they successfully used survey results to advocate for increased mental health support at school. We discuss the potential and challenges of YPAR as a strategy to inspire youth-led changes to local policy and practice.
Original languageAmerican English
JournalSchool Psychology Review
StatePublished - 2022


  • Clinical Psychology
  • Community Psychology
  • School Psychology

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