ERIC Number: EJ823569
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2003
Reference Count: 11
Commentary: Building Community Laboratories for Experimental Studies
Greenwood, Charles R.
School Psychology Review, v32 n4 p515-519 2003
A number of circumstances challenge the very notion of the provision of mental health services that are effective, accessible, and sustainable in the most impoverished urban settings. These circumstances pose significant challenges to conducting research on alternative mental health practices of sufficient quality and rigor necessary to pass standards of peer review. In their article, Atkins, Graczyk, Frazier, and Abdul-Adil (2003) describe a series of interrelated studies seeking to provide school-based mental health services in urban settings that were affected by and shaped to address these challenges. In this work, one sees an effort to conduct research on evidenced-based practices in ways that sustain and support continued use over time and that maintain collaboration (e.g., Burns & Hoagwood, 2002). The larger scientific issue addressed in this work is the question of exactly how educational and mental health scientists should go about creating conditions in impoverished communities necessary to the conduct of experiments designed to improve practice, such that studies can be conducted with rigor. The author believes that creating such conditions for the conduct of experimental studies should be viewed as what is commonly known among scientists as "building the laboratory." Here, the author discusses the importance of building community-based laboratories for experimental studies and cites Atkins et al. (2003), who are well on their way towards creating their own community laboratory. He describes the Juniper Gardens Children's Project (JGCP), a long-standing community-based laboratory in Kansas City, as an example of community-based laboratories which very likely add the experimental capacity desired by scientists seeking to complete research to understand problem conditions, to undertake experimental studies--sometimes over many years duration, and to learn how to work collaboratively with community residents.
Descriptors: Health Services, Mental Health Programs, Mental Health, Laboratories, Scientists, Urban Areas, Scientific Research, Disadvantaged, Cooperation, Community Programs, Program Descriptions, Academic Achievement, Behavior Change
National Association of School Psychologists. 4340 East West Highway Suite 402, Bethesda, MD 20814. Tel: 301-657-0270; Fax: 301-657-0275; e-mail: email@example.com; Web site: http://www.nasponline.org
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Kansas