Apr 19

Mental Escape

Our world has changed drastically in the past 25 years with technology. We have phones that we can take anywhere with us without it being plugged into a wall. They have even made cellphones like a mini computer. Now they have video games, computer games, phone games, fast internet and more. All of these advances in technology has helped us to escape from our everyday lives during our free time. Since we have all of these resources at our disposal, how does these advances effect our well being?

One technological advancement that helps us to escape the most from our busy lives is an RPG video game. An RPG is a role-playing game. In this game you can create a character to look anyway you want, be anything you want, and have skills that you choose. This is a great way to “fulfill real-world social needs through interaction during imaginative play”(Adams, Aubrie S. 2013). This type of game play can let the adult mind wander and use our imaginations. Most adults struggle with this concept but playing these games the tools are easily accessible to help you along the way. For example, if you have always wanted blue hair and piercings but your employer will not allow it, then you might make your character to look that way. Therefore you are projecting your desires into your video game as a supplement to satisfy your wants or needs. Also in these games you can complete quests, which are like tasks to complete in order to move onto the next section of the game. These make you feel good about yourself, like you crossed a task off your to-do list. Researchers have found that RPG’s “have been shown to teach children the self-concept, behavioral
changes, cognitive abilities, social skills, and anxiety management” (Adams, Aubrie S. 2013).

Another great tool in these type of games are the social interactions. In the game you can communicate with real people and complete quests with others to make the challenges easier and more fun. This is a way to build friendships. Since friendships occur when at least two people have common interests. Most new video game consoles have an option to talk over headsets to players during game time, this allows for friendships to flourish and maybe even for people to meet in person. People who are friends already from work or school can plan times to both get on a game at the same time in order to be in their own comfort of their homes while having fun together. All in all these RPG’s are a great way to escape from the world that tells us how to live our lives.


Adams, Aubrie S. (2013) “Needs Met Through Role-Playing Games: A Fantasy Theme Analysis of Dungeons & Dragons,”
Kaleidoscope: A Graduate Journal of Qualitative Communication Research: Vol. 12 , Article 6.
Available at: http://opensiuc.lib.siu.edu/kaleidoscope/vol12/iss1/6

Apr 19

Virtual Communities

I first found myself in the world of Facebook groups in 2013. I had just received a foundation shattering diagnosis of Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD). Ignorant to the meaning of the diagnosis and only familiar with the stereotyped description of an eight-year-old boy who won’t sit still, I turned to the internet for answers. After finding the diagnostic criteria and feeling somewhat satisfied with the suggested diagnosis, I continued to Facebook. I searched ADHD unsure of what I was looking for then, low and behold, I came across multiple groups targeted for individuals with ADHD. Naturally, I joined all of them. Upon acceptance my world grew immensely while simultaneously shrinking. There were other people just like me. I wasn’t inherently flawed; I simply had a diagnosable neurological condition. Even more importantly, I was not alone. To learn of the virtual gathering of like-minded individuals suffering from similar symptoms throughout their life created an instant comradery. It was mind blowing that these individuals scattered across the globe were accessible to communicate with through the tiny device at my fingertips.

Social media is notorious for decreased emotional interactions and increasing anxiety, depression and other detrimental effects. It could be a coping mechanism for those with anxiety. Difficulties with face-to-face interactions could be increased if majority of interactions are had by virtual means. Additionally, there has been noted research suggesting increased symptoms of depression caused by Facebook use (Lorman, 2017).  On the other end of the spectrum, Facebook groups of tens of thousands of individuals are finding support to the extent the benefit of the support found outweighs their privacy (Richards, 2018).

A suggested answer for the difference in experiences are the different personality traits found in each individual. For example, individuals with high scores of extraversion are seen to have a higher number of Facebook friends- but it does not necessarily result in meaningful interactions and may cause increased feelings of depression or lonliness. The differences could result in different intentions and effects with social media use (Lorman, 2017; Skues, Williams, & Wise, 2012). It can be agreed that if one is experiencing negative effects resulting from social media use, decreasing and limiting the time on the virtual platform can alleviate and essentially “reset” individuals (Lorman, 2017).

It has been observed that social media has its drawbacks and negative effects on the general public. Moderation is key. The sense of community to be found can be irreplaceable and benefit individuals in a way that was never to be known for previous generations.




Ellison, B., N., Steinfield, Charles, Lampe, & Cliff. (2007, July 01). Benefits of Facebook “Friends:” Social Capital and College Students’ Use of Online Social Network Sites. Retrieved from https://academic.oup.com/jcmc/article/12/4/1143/4582961

Lorman, S. (2017, September 14). What 65 Studies Can Tell Us About Facebook and Mental Health. Retrieved from https://thriveglobal.com/stories/what-65-studies-can-tell-us-about-facebook-and-mental-health/

Richards, S. E. (2018, May 29). Facebook’s Health Groups Offer A Lifeline, But Privacy Concerns Linger. Retrieved from https://www.huffpost.com/entry/facebook-health-groups-lifeline-privacy_n_5b058032e4b07c4ea104098b

Skues, J.L., Williams, B. and Wise, L. (2012) The Effects of Personality Traits, Self-Esteem, Loneliness, and Narcissism on Facebook Use among University Students. Computers in Human Behavior, 28, 2414-2419. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.chb.2012.07.012


Apr 19

Adult Friendships

All throughout our lives we go through different stages of life. Each of us go through them at all different rates. These stages can include marriage, a baby, new house, job or even going away to college. As we are going through these changes our friends can get lost in the shuffle. Why does this happen?

Big events or stages of our lives can make a big impact us and it can change the person we were beforehand. One major life change is having a baby. It can change the mother and father by the way they think and act. Sometimes friends who do not have children tend to not understand why you can’t hang out with them at the mall on Saturday, because your child needs rest.”There will be instances when plans with a friend will simply not pan out or you may not be able to see one another for some time” (Waugh, Chantel, 2019). Another factor that usually occurs is, your friend no longer feels like they have anything in common with you anymore. This is a key factor in the beginning processes of becoming friends. A positive outcome of going through this stage in your life is, as new parents they begin to develop new friendships with other parents. The reason this occurs is because now they have something in common, like children. Their kids may even attend the same school (Wagle, Stephanie).

(Waugh, Chantel, 2019)
Friendships should not be forgotten about. It is a crucial relationship in life that helps maintain our happiness in our busy lives. Friendships cause people to feel happy, relieve anxiety and depression by being around your friends. When we spend time with our friends it can also improve our physical health by strengthening our immune, cardiovascular system and more (Wagle, Stephanie). No matter how busy or crazy your life gets, it is important to make time for your friends.


Wagle, Stephanie. “The Friendship Crisis: Making and Keeping Friends as an Adult.” Parents, www.parents.com/parenting/relationships/friendship/making-and-keeping-friends-as-an-adult/.

Waugh, Chantel. “Overcoming the Problems of Adult Friendships.” Reflect & Refresh, 6 Mar. 2019, reflectandrefresh.org/2019/02/28/overcoming-the-problems-of-adult-friendships/.

Apr 19

Academic Enrichment Programs Can Lead to Success!

The importance of afterschool academic enrichment programs cannot be understated. Afterschool academic enrichment programs allow students the opportunity to remediate if necessary and to advance beyond their peers. During the daily schedule of most schools there is a required amount of material that must be covered in a timely manner. This requisite of required material may actually be harming certain students who may be falling behind. As the teacher advances with the lesson plans, the left behind students are even more behind. Problems like this are far too common in the educational system today. According to the U.S. Department of Education “Research has consistently shown that well-designed tutoring programs that use volunteers and other nonprofessionals as tutors can be effective in improving children’s reading skills. Students with below-average reading skills who are tutored by volunteers show significant gains in reading skills when compared with similar students who do not receive tutoring from a high-quality tutoring program.” The research supports the idea that tutoring in addition to regular schooling can benefit most students and especially those students who fall behind. Tutoring is more than supplementing academic education, it’s about the students seeing that someone besides their teacher is advocating for them. Positive morale support can have great lasting impacts on a student’s education. Academic enrichment programs even have a proven track record in the undergraduate years. One example of this is the Summer Medical Dental Education Program designed for aspiring pre-medical and pre-dental students. The unique goal of this specific program is to educate economically disadvantaged students on the admissions process for the respective professional schools. Like afterschool tutoring, this program fosters educational competence and confidence in one’s ability’s.  

Overall, academic enrichment programs support all types of students. These programs range from afterschool tutoring to pre-medical programs preparing students for successful admission to medical school.  



Evidence That Tutoring Works. (n.d.). Retrieved April 28, 2019, from https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/ERIC-ED464343/pdf/ERIC-ED464343.pdf 

Apr 19

Empowering the Minority

Action research in psychology, or research that takes place within communities of oppressed or exploited populations works to identify problem areas and facilitate social change collectively (Brydon-Miller, 1997). In the past, researchers have sought to discover connections between participatory action research and empowerment amongst the oppressed. One study that was conducted on homeless individuals observed that empowerment was an individual process that must be done autonomously (Brydon-Miller, 1997).

Empowerment has proven to have an essential role in predicting the wellbeing and positive development of youth. Essentially, empowerment is the process of individuals and groups finding action-oriented solutions to relieve difficulties they face within their lives (Lardier et al., 2019). More recent studies have been conducted to reveal that empowerment that inevitably causes social change may be inspired with community participation.  In modern times, empowered youth have joined together and become instrumental in promoting social change for the oppressed by demanding social justice, equal rights, and police reform in movements such as #BlackLivesMatter (Lardier et al., 2019). Still, the mechanisms through which youth empowerment and critical awareness occur remains under-researched, especially within diverse populations and people of color.

According to Lardier, Reid, and Reid (2019) psychological empowerment is comprised of three components. The intrapersonal component dictates a person’s ability to engage in change with personal and sociopolitical contexts. Then, the interactional component is largely comprised of awareness of one’s sociopolitical environment and their functional capabilities to engage in change. This type of cognitive empowerment includes critical awareness, decision making, resource mobilization, and relational processes such as shaping ideologies and creating change through relationships. Lastly, the behavioral component explains how the individual or group behaviors provoke influence and change over their social, political, and cultural factors that impact their communities and lives (Lardier et al., 2019).

It is important to recognize that the aspects of empowerment stretch far beyond the intrapersonal and behavioral components. Investigations that have examined cognitive empowerment have found an empirical relationship with organizational types such as political or service-based, and features of the organization such as an organizational sense of community and empowerment, with relation to critical hopefulness and consciousness (Lardier et al., 2019). For marginalized ethnic groups to become empowered, it has been discovered that these groups must develop a group identification and consciousness to empower each other to think critically about their social positions to invoke participation in a manner that leads to collective group consciousness (Lardier et al., 2019).

Overall, the researchers discovered that a strong connection to one’s ethnic group makes him or her equally aware of oppressive structures that fuel perceived problems and contribute to past and present social inequalities (Lardier et al., 2019). Hence, such connections will allow individuals to think more critically about concerns affecting their ethnic-racial group. Then, critical awareness about social inequalities reinforces collective feelings of solidarity, efficacy, culture, and identity (Lardier et al., 2019). Altogether these group processes have been found to lead to successfully empower ethnic minorities to have a strong ethnic group identity that creates greater community belonging and the efficacy to enact and spearhead sociopolitical change to better the social world.


Brydon‐Miller, M. (1997). Participatory action research: Psychology and social change. Journal of Social Issues, 53(4), 657-666. doi:10.1111/0022-4537.00042

Lardier, D. T., Garcia-Reid, P., & Reid, R. J. (2019). The examination of cognitive empowerment dimensions on intrapersonal psychological empowerment, psychological sense of community, and ethnic identity among urban youth of color. The Urban Review, , 1-21. doi:http://dx.doi.org.ezaccess.libraries.psu.edu/10.1007/s11256-019-00504-7


Apr 19

“A Change Is Gonna Come”

A few years ago, my best friends asked me to be the made of honor at their wedding. I was so happy and honored that they trusted me with this very important role, but I was even happier that they were finally able to legally get married because they are gay. Us privileged people take many rights for granted while many marginalized groups have to fight for basic rights. Humans have undoubtedly evolved from hunter-gatherers into sophisticated and well-informed beings, however there are still many groups and subcultures that do not enjoy equal rights and certain liberties. Marijuana is still considered a schedule I drug in the United States, and there are still thousands of people serving time in prisons for either selling or possession of marijuana. There are numbers of states in America that prohibit women to make decisions about abortion at six weeks. Women still get paid less than men for doing the same job. The long list can go on, but there was a time when this list was even longer.

There was a time when slavery was legal, women didn’t have the right to vote, Blacks and Mexican-Americans had to use separate bathrooms, and only a few decades ago, these marginalized groups didn’t imagine life without segregation. Indeed, change came, but it didn’t happen overnight. Many years of fighting, protesting and advocating led by visionaries and freedom fighters such as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, Rosa parks, Lucretia Mott, Elizabeth Cady Stanton and many more, resulted in culture and social changes. Change is difficult to face and accept, but it’s also inevitable. It requires years of fighting the system, educating the public, and conducting research.

When studying public policies and social justice, basic research methods may not be the most pragmatic way of collecting data. Applied research is more commonly used to observe and evaluate social issues. Participatory action research is a relatively new area of research and is just trying to gain popularity. It has been criticized for its possible political bias, but many psychologists have broken the chains of these conservative and traditional views. Psychologists like Mary Brydon-Miller have used participatory action research to work with communities and implement positive social change. They argue that the best way to understand social issues is to work directly with community members and empower them to be actively involved in the research process. In this type of research, the researcher becomes involved within the community, and the community gets actively involved in the research process. Participatory action research uses empirical, interpretive and critical theories to study political and social issues (Brydon-Miller, 1997). Its qualitative and quantitative date provides a holistic view of social and political issues that need change. Societies go through constant change, and participatory action research helps implement cultural and behavioral modifications through observation and education.


Brydon-Miller, M. (1997). Participatory action research: Psychology and social change. Journal of Social Issues, vol 53. Pp 657-666

Apr 19

Using Activist Research to Solve Climate Change

Climate change is something that affects all of us whether you believe in it or not. According to researchers, climate change is irreversible, but it is stoppable (Grimminick, 2015). How can we get the average person to start reducing their effect on our environment? Using social change research we can combat this problem. One type of social change research that I think will be really effective in this situation is activist research. Activist research includes finding solutions to a specific issue and pushing certain values during that process (n.d.). To combat climate change we must start researching, finding solutions, and instilling values to ensure long-term change.

The research has already been done concerning the negative effects climate change has on our planet. Knowing this why do we continue to behave in ways that harm our planet?  The first step is to research the motivation behind our behavior which will make it easier for scientists to find ways for everyone to do their part. For example, is that we are just lazy or does it cost more money to behave in ways that reduce our carbon footprint. Once they pinpoint the motivation behind our behavior. the question becomes how should we target these behaviors?

What wide-reaching, social change will it take for people to start reducing their carbon footprint? Germany led an initiative that encouraged people to start recycling plastic water bottles frequently. They gave 25 cents for every water bottle someone recycled. Recycling 12 plastic bottles every week will leave a person with156 euros at the end of the year (Bariso, 2016). Germany made it even easier for people by having a water bottle return machine in every grocery store (Bariso, 2016). If the U.S. took up this social change idea we could definitely make a big difference. 

Even if we implement the same change that Germany started, how do we encourage people to take that to other parts of their life? This is where values come in to play. We need to push a certain set of values and ideas through our social change research to make ensure lasting change. Without clear motivation for their actions, people can easily become disheartened and stop their good behavior. I think the value we need to encourage is to leave the world in good shape for future generations. This will strike a chord for most people since they wouldn’t want to leave their kids or grandkids on an uninhabitable planet.

In conclusion, we need to research the motivation behind our actions, implement solutions, and encourage certain values through social change. A majority of Americans say they care about climate change, but we still have not incited enough social change to make a significant impact (Grimminick, 2015).  Using activist research we can reduce the impact the population has on the environment.  Paying people to recycle water bottles is one possible solution to our issue. Then, we need to encourage certain values to make sure people continue with the good behavior.


Canvas Learning Management System. (n.d.). https://psu.instructure.com/courses/1973019/modules/items/25635746

Grimminick, Robert. (December

Bariso, Justin. November, 2016). “Germany Figured Out the Single Best Way to Get People to Recycle.” https://www.inc.com/justin-bariso/germany-figured-out-the-single-best-way-to-get-people-to-recycle.html 

Apr 19

Discrimination in the Workplace

In today’s society it has become a necessity to work a minimum of 30-40 hrs. a week. We spend so much time at our jobs that we barely even see our own family at home. Therefore, it is important to build good relationships with our coworkers. This will help make the work week go faster and get the job done easier. One of the disadvantages of having to work with other employees is sometimes it can be hard to get along with everyone. This can be especially hard when it comes to different types of discrimination in the workplace.
One of the social conflicts that can occur in the workplace is gender discrimination. This can happen for men or women. If a workplace has more men in the workplace it has been proven to have more gender discrimination towards women and vice versa if there are more women in the workplace towards men. There was a survey conducted in 2017 by the Pew Research Center about gender differences in the workplace. The results revealed that workplaces with mostly men had a higher rate of women reporting gender differences compared to results when mostly women were in the workplace (Parker, K. 2018). Gender discrimination is more common to happen towards women because “The U.S. workforce overall is majority male by a narrow margin – 53% of all workers were male in 2017, while 47% were female” (Parker, K. 2018). This relates back to the statement that gender discrimination occurs more often when a workplace is more one gender sided.
Gender discrimination happens on a daily basis but most of us might not recognize it as such. For example, calling a female “sweetheart” or commenting about someone’s outfit inappropriately, etc… These are all examples of sexism and discrimination. “This is the most frequently encountered form of everyday sexism, experienced by women and men, and consists of sexist remarks or jokes, and insulting terms based on gender” (Priestley, A. 2017). One of the main problems with this issue is, people do these things unintentional or intentional but not many people makes a fuss about it when it should be something to be addressed.
Society has created a role for women for generations. They have viewed them as kind and loving. The caregivers of society. The problem is, especially with older generations, this is how the workforce views women. Sometimes this can influence people’s decisions on who they hire and if they believe someone is capable of a certain job or title.”Women, who are regarded as the nicer, kinder sex, have a cultural stereotype…yet women often are victims of prejudice” (Heilman, M., & Eagly, A. 2008). This is another reason why it happens in the workplace.
Most of the time gender discrimination is unintentional mainly because of this reason. It has become almost a norm but more and more women are starting to stand up against it and realize it is not okay anymore. Men who are being discriminated against at a workplace should also stand up if they are being singled out. No one should have to deal with any type of discrimination at the workplace because it can effect our jobs and our well being. It is overall not a good environment to deal with on a daily basis.


Parker, K. (2018, March 07). Gender discrimination more common for women in mostly male workplaces. Retrieved April 14, 2019, from https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2018/03/07/women-in-majority-male-workplaces-report-higher-rates-of-gender-discrimination/

Priestley, A. (2017, October 24). Six common manifestations of everyday sexism at work. Retrieved April 14, 2019, from https://www.smartcompany.com.au/people-human-resources/six-common-manifestations-everyday-sexism-work/

Heilman, M., & Eagly, A. (2008). Gender Stereotypes Are Alive, Well, and Busy Producing Workplace Discrimination. Industrial and Organizational Psychology, 1(4), 393-398. doi:10.1111/j.1754-9434.2008.00072.x

Apr 19

Smoking and Social Change Initiatives for Our Youth

“Cigarette smoking remains the leading cause of preventable death and disability in the United States, despite a significant decline in the number of people who smoke. Over 16 million Americans have at least one disease caused by smoking. This amounts to $170 billion in direct medical costs that could be saved every year if we could prevent youth from starting to smoke and help every person who smokes to quit” (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2018). Cigarette use in our youth population is a serious behavioral health issue, one that requires the combative focus of social action groups. The youth of today look to their community based social norms, their parental guidance, and to the facts illustrated through social media and news outlets for information on how to act and what is normalized behavior. There is a lot of information out there that generates supportive movements one way or another. If one were to look at centuries past, idealizing and promotion of smoking was common place. “There was a time when people didn’t know that smoking cigarettes could be deadly—a long time ago, doctors even recommended that people smoke to cure other illnesses” (National Institute of Health, 2009). Today, it is required by law in the United States that every cigarette carton state the health dangers and give great detail about the poisonous toxins that the body is subjected to when smoking.

In my youth and from personal experience, growing up in a small rural town who normalized tobacco use— I can say that many of my friends began sneaking around and smoking as early as middle school. I was suckered into the peer pressure of trying it before the age of 10. Although the smell was terrible and the smoke burned my lungs, I took a drag all the same in an attempt to be “cool” like the other kids. In my freshman year in high school, my close friend came to me in tears saying that her father had passed away from lung cancer. It changed things for me, seeing how her pain and loss overcame her. This change was not triggered in many of her other close friends, friends who even today continue to ask if we have lighters handy. Cigarettes are addictive, they are poisonous and they kill; sometimes more slowly for some, but in the end— they hack away at the health of the body all the same.

Health groups and organizations such as the CDC’s: Tips from Former Smokers Campaign help advocate on both a federal and state level for smokers to quit the harmful habit. “Since 2012, the CDC has been educating the public about the consequences of smoking and exposure to secondhand smoke and encouraging smokers to quit through a federally funded, national tobacco education campaign” (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2018). Campaigns such as this involve the use of what is known as participatory action research. This type of research is gathered with the intention of using comparative research rooted in empirical evidence combined with the practical interest of mankind—all with the intent to ignite change or social action. It isn’t enough to just lay out facts to medical professionals about how bad smoking is and rely on annual doctor visits to suffice, participatory action research calls on the community to spread knowledge and an informing agenda to our youth more regularly.

Participatory action research demands “greater involvement and commitment on our parts to our own communities and to addressing issues of social justice around the world” (Brydon‐Miller, 1997). It draws a connection between society and science for the betterment of mankind as a whole. “Community-based participatory research involves the equitable partnership between the researchers and members of the community that is being researched, and is aimed at creating positive community change” (Schneider, Gruman, & Coutts, 2012). In reference to this particular social issue, this means that we as a society need to diminish the socialization and acceptance of our youth smoking. This can take form through the use of advocating to the media to be held accountable for glamourizing smoking for our youth. It can be represented by parents choosing to quit smoking or even just by them choosing to have more serious conversations with their children about the dangers of smoking. It can be brought about by backing political affiliates who tout a no-smoking agenda, or even be as simple as liking a Truth about Smoking campaign on a social media platform for all your followers to see. All of these options bring about change in some way, they give meaning and a driving force to this participatory action research agenda.


Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2018, September 13). Extinguishing the Tobacco Epidemic in Washington | CDC. Retrieved April 14, 2019, from

National Institute of Health. (2009, December 9). Smoking: Then and Now. Retrieved April 14, 2019, from https://teens.drugabuse.gov/blog/post/smoking-then-and-now

Brydon‐Miller, M. (1997). Participatory action research: Psychology and social change. Journal of Social Issues, 53(4), 657-666. doi:10.1111/0022-4537.00042

Schneider, F., Gruman, J., & Coutts, L. (2012). Applied social psychology: Understanding and addressing social and practical problems. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

Apr 19


While learning about participatory research and social change research, it became quite clear to me how beneficial and valuable society’s interaction and involvement with researchers and their research can be. Not only are researchers and residents often living in and around the same issues at hand, they typically have the same desires to improve them as well. That said, researchers working with the community yields itself to be an incredible team effort with common goals.

When doing a bit of research myself into examples in which participatory research has proven successful, an article was found regarding Georgia State University’s researchers working hand-in-hand with residents in the surrounding community in an effort to identify threats to their environment. The Proctor Creek Watershed is a 16-square-mile area of Northwest Atlanta that includes dozens of neighborhoods. Unfortunately, illegal tire dumping, contaminated land, overflowed sewers, and unpleasant standing water have become trademarks in the area (Marquez, 2019).  The residents in the area were thrilled when, in 2013, Urban Waters Federal Partnership, an Environmental Protection Agency program meant to reconnect communities with their urban waterways, stepped in to assist with Proctor Creek (Marquez, 2019). Although excited, residents wanted to ensure that they were, indeed, a part of the picture.

Na’Taki Osborne Jelks, co-chair of the Proctor Creek Stewardship Council, spear-headed the idea to create an app that would allow the watershed residents to identify and document the environmental hazards that were negatively affecting their health and quality of life (Marquez, 2019). This would fulfill the need for “street-level data”, according to Jelks, who believes that it is “important to identify what’s actually impacting the people who live in the community” (Marquez, 2019).

The app allowed longtime residents to partner with Georgia State faculty members and students to collect photo and video evidence of environmental hazards in their neighborhoods (Marquez, 2019). The data were then used to generate a series of maps, which showed where illegal dumping, stormwater infrastructure problems and other issues were most densely clustered. With this research data in hand, the residents were able to present their findings to Atlanta city-council members and the city’s Department of Watershed and Department of Public Works (Marquez, 2019).

It’s evidently clear that the advantage of community-based participatory research is that it allows actual residents of the community to be part of the solutions process, they feel as though they’re creating change. When researchers and residents work together as one, a community full of faces gains credibility and a true voice pushing for change.


Marquez, J. (2019). A River Runs Through It. Georgia State University Magazine. Retrieved from https://news.gsu.edu/research-magazine/spring2019/a-river-runs-through-it

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