Youth-LED Participatory Action Research

  • Participatory Action Research (PAR) empowers community members to learn and apply research techniques in order to discover solutions to issues in their community. 

  • Consistent with the vision-mission of St. Edward School, the Youth-Led Participatory Action Research (YPAR) is designed as the research framework in the Senior High School program to provide the youth and adult-partners to improve the conditions of youth lives and communities using this research technique. The information that comes out of the YPAR process is meant to be used to advocate for change in communities.
  • YPAR is a process that believes that the youth are valuable experts and that it is important to develop the full potential of youth. That means that the power between the youth and adults should be shared.
  • YPAR has been used throughout the world as a way to encourage youth to have a deep understanding of their communities and to be agents of change.
  • The YPAR Process.  As in any research design, either quantitative, qualitative, or mixed-method; the YPAR process upholds the usual steps of the research process.  Thus, YPAR becomes an authentic research framework vis-à-vis the St. Edward School’s mission-vision for the community.
  •  The YPAR Research Process
      1. Recruit YPAR team 
      2. Build relationships 
      3. Develop critical awareness 
      4. Identify issues 
      5. Create research design 
      6. Conduct research 
      7. Analyze data 
      8. Advocate for change 
      9. Reflect and repeat 


  • YPAR empowers the youth.
    • They learn vital research, critical thinking, and communication skills that they can use all their life. 
    • They become role models for their peers and sources of knowledge for all members of their community. 
    • This increases their self-confidence and their sense of responsibility for their community. 
    • They are directed to create a path for active citizenship into adulthood. 
  • YPAR improves relationships between youth and others in their community.
    • Because YPAR allows youth to share their knowledge with the community, adults are able to better understand that youth have important contributions. 
    • Adults then become more willing to learn from youth and treat them with more respect. 
    • This builds more trust between adults and youth. 
    • By being more engaged in the community, youth are also able to make better relationships with other youth. 
  • YPAR can drive change in communities.
    • An important part of YPAR is to use the information collected to create and share solutions for issues in one’s community. 
    • Some ways YPAR research has been shared are through town meetings with local politicians or workshops to promote healthy habits to community members. 
    • In cases when there is a desire to change the behavior of youth, YPAR is especially effective because youth are more likely to listen to their peers rather than adults. 
  • Research Themes
    • GalingLNC has grouped various clubs and groups within Lancaster to initiate plans and programs.
    • YPAR intends to align research initiatives into the same themes of GalingLNC:
    1. Environment
    2. Entrepreneurship 
    3. Education and Life Skills 
    4. Faith Life and Service
    5. Music and the Arts
    6. Sports and Wellness 

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