From voice to agency: guiding principles for participatory action research with youth

New Dir Youth Dev. Fall 2009;2009(123):19-34, 11. doi: 10.1002/yd.312.


This article begins by examining current crises facing historically marginalized youth, which necessitate more critical approaches to youth development and empirical investigations into the challenges that young people face. This requires not only listening to their voices, but actively engaging them in investigations of and interventions into social problems that affect their lives. Researching with youth raises particular dilemmas, however. The authors discuss strategies, within three guiding principles, that they found effective in conducting participatory action research with marginalized youth for the purposes of social and educational transformation.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Community-Based Participatory Research / methods*
  • Community-Based Participatory Research / standards
  • Cooperative Behavior
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Schools
  • Vulnerable Populations*