Youth PAR Presentations

Many youth who have gone through the Participatory Action Research (PAR) process at ICR have shared their work and research experiences at special public events. These events are opportunities to describe a problem of significant concern in their lives, and to present their research, results, and recommendations for community action to bring about change.

Lead by Example (2010-2015)

“Lead by Example” was part of a teen-driven social marketing campaign to prevent teenage substance use in West Hartford, CT. Teens partnered with ICR to develop social marketing materials (films, website and apparel) based on research findings. Teens presented the research results and campaign materials at town hall meetings.

Meriden Youth Action Researchers (2014)

Meriden Youth Action Researchers, with assistance from ICR, conducted mixed method research (using interviews and survey) to understand key factors that contribute to teen substance use in Meriden, Connecticut. Teens presented research findings and recommendations to community stakeholders at several public events. The goal was to build allies and evidence from research findings to develop effective community-based prevention strategies. Meriden Youth Action Researchers were part of a year-round youth employment program of the Meriden Department of Health and Human Services Youth Division.

Food Fight (2012)

“Food Fight” was a participatory action research study with Hartford teens in which they examined issues of food justice, food distribution and local food production in their city.  The youth conducted research for five weeks to explore whether or not farmers’ markets were friendly toward teens and organized a community presentation to present their findings and recommendations.

Race: The Lived Experience (2007)

Hartford teens explored how they experience racism and how images and messages in their environment reflect deep racial biases and stereotyping, resulting in discrimination, internalized racism, and inequity. High school youth action researchers from ICR working with ICR staff and artists Victor Pacheco and Luella Pavey created a mobile mural on racism that reflected findings from the youth research with their peers. The mural and a documentary, Docin’ Da Beat, raised awareness of the continued impact of racism on the wellbeing of youth and adults.

Teen Hustling (2005)

Teens in ICR’s Youth Action Research Program identified teen hustling (illegal sale of drugs or items like bootlegged CDs) as prevalent in the city through their research on this issue, which they identified as negatively impacting their lives. Through surveys and interviews with their peers, youth researchers determined that limited employment opportunities, peer influence, and family financial stress or a lack of communication with parents can cause teens to get involved with hustling. Through a youth employment website, a job bulletin board, informational workshops, and a rally at the state Capitol, teens in the program successfully advocated for more state funding to be allocated to youth employment in CT.

Some of the topics youth addressed in their PAR projects and presented to the public included the following:

  • 2008: Personal and group abuse
  • 2008: Teen dating violence
  • 2006: Teen stress
  • 2005: Neighborhood conditions
  • 2004: Dropping out of school
  • 2002: Supports for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and questioning (LGBTQ) youth of color
  • 2002: Negative sexuality
  • 2001: Community violence
  • 2001: Media portrayal of drug use, sexual activity, and violence
  • 2000: Suicidal ideation
  • 1999: Reproductive health rights of orphaned underage adolescents
  • 1999: Stress associated with exposure to drug use, violence, loss of a loved one, and teen pregnancy
  • 1998: Dropping out of school
  • 1998: Sex at an early age
  • 1998: Peer pressure
  • 1997: Sexual harassment
  • 1997: HIV risk
  • 1997: Self-esteem
  • 1996: Teen pregnancy
  • 1995-98 UWASA (Urban Women Against Substance Abuse) annual projects
  • 1990-93 TARP (Teen Action Research Project) PAR projects for substance abuse prevention