Psychology, Department of


Date of this Version


Document Type



Hope, D. A., Woodruff, N., Mocarski, R (2020). Advocacy opportunities from academic-community partnerships: Three examples from Trans Collaborations. The Behavior Therapist, 43, 247-249.


Copyright © 2020 Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies


For a number of years, much of what we know about marginalized communities from psychological research, even most social science work, came from the perspective of “research on” a particular marginalized group, with the majority group as the “healthy” reference sample (Awad et al., 2016). In part, this occurred because very few researchers are themselves members of these communities. In addition, researchers would come into a community, collect their data, and leave, with little ongoing benefit to the community itself. Over time, this exploitation led to communities becoming more suspicious of researchers (e.g., Christopher et al., 2008). Recognizing the problem, sometimes researchers tried to include a benefit to the communities in the research plan.

Community-based participatory research (CBPR) takes a different approach, partnering with marginalized communities in the research process. As described by Wallerstein and colleagues (2018), “CBPR embraces collaborative efforts among community, academic, and other stakeholders who gather and use research and data to build on the strengths and priorities of the community for multilevel strategies to improve health and social equity” (p. 3). The essential aspect of CBPR is the partnership across the research process at all stages, including which questions to ask, selection of research methods, and interpretation and dissemination of results.