Balancing community and university aims in community-based participatory research: a Pacific Islander youth study

Prog Community Health Partnersh. Spring 2011;5(1):19-25. doi: 10.1353/cpr.2011.0001.


Background: Community-based participatory research (CBPR) holds the promise of improving the planning, conduct, and long-term translation of research findings into community settings.

Objectives: This 2-year, exploratory study applied CBPR structures and processes to the identification of individual, cultural and community factors associated with obesity among Pacific Islander (PI) youth in Southern California.

Methods: We describe the CBPR principles and strategies used by a community-university partnership to develop, implement, and report on the findings from assessments of obesity, physical activity, and nutritional intake among PI youth.

Results: Although CBPR planning processes led to successes in community-based youth recruitment and retention, we learned key lessons regarding implementation of tailored assessment protocols, often involving problems arising from the university side of the CBPR collaborative.

Conclusion: CBPR has its strengths and limits; more studies are needed that report on processes to increase our understanding of how to balance research rigor with community sustainability.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Body Mass Index
  • California / epidemiology
  • Community-Based Participatory Research
  • Community-Institutional Relations*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Cultural Competency
  • Energy Intake
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Micronesia / ethnology
  • Monitoring, Physiologic / instrumentation
  • Monitoring, Physiologic / methods
  • Motor Activity*
  • Obesity / ethnology
  • Obesity / prevention & control*
  • Oceanic Ancestry Group
  • Samoa / ethnology
  • Tonga / ethnology
  • Universities*
  • Young Adult