Participatory Action Research is a tool often used by the government to conduct research investigating public health and social impacts of policies. This approach uses feedback and emphasizes participation and action in communities, and uses these results to try and change the communities for the collective improvement of society and local groups. Tools like this are essential to applied social psychology and government interventions.
Participatory Action Research (PAR) makes extraordinary efforts to bring help and assistance to members of the community who are typically quiet, or such a minority that their voices go unheard. This is especially true of male victims of sexual assault/rape. 1 in 71 men will be raped at some point in their lives and men are 140% more likely to develop PTSD as a result. (Penn State University, 2018) This may be due to a number of factors but one of the leading suggested causes is the lack of current support networks for male victims of sexual violence. In our society, sexual violence towards men is often misunderstood or even turned into comedy. This only makes the psychological strain on the victims even more harsh. Due to methods such as PAR, research and funding can go towards programs to help male survivors cope and develop needed support networks.
Applied social psychology is beneficial in many ways to communities. Utilizing tools such as PAR, researchers and psychologists can work to develop efficient and beneficial intervention programs and policies for individuals in need. Using feedback and communication directly from the community, the policy can be tailored to fit the specific needs of the group.
Baum, F., MacDougall, C., & Smith, D. (2006). Participatory action research. Journal of epidemiology and community health, 60(10), 854-7.
Nsvrc.org. (2018). Statistics about sexual violence. [online] Available at: https://www.nsvrc.org/sites/default/files/publications_nsvrc_factsheet_media-packet_statistics-about-sexual-violence_0.pdf [Accessed 19 Nov. 2018].
Penn State University (2018) Psych 270 Canvas Module – Developing PTSD. Retrieved November 18, 2018, from https://psu.instructure.com/courses/1914063/modules/items/24970423