Abstract: Using Trauma Informed Lens and Intersectionality Perspectives to Enhance Community Based Participatory Based Research (Society for Social Work and Research 25th Annual Conference - Social Work Science for Social Change)

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Using Trauma Informed Lens and Intersectionality Perspectives to Enhance Community Based Participatory Based Research

Thursday, January 21, 2021
* noted as presenting author
Tonya Hansel, PhD, MSW, Associate Professor, Tulane University, LA
Samantha Francois, PhD, Assistant Professor, Tulane University, New Orleans, LA
Moctezuma Garcia, PhD, Professor of Practice, Tulane School of Social Work, New Orleans, LA
Background and Purpose: Community Participatory Based Research centers on incorporating stakeholders throughout the entire research process. This push aligns well with the values of Social Work, however the process often presents many challenges. Stakeholder involvement is often contingent on adequate funding, perceived intrinsic rewards, good translational science, and public distrust of science. Further, given the above constraints, CBPR receives criticism on how participatory the process actually is and how more attention is payed to people rather than contextual representation. We argue that viewing the process through a trauma lens (both known and historical) and intersectionality perspectives can help to facilitate reducing barriers to fully implementing the CBPR process.

Methods: Three CBPR projects will be presented. The first project used a community-based participatory research approach to evaluate the effectiveness of a trauma-informed care curriculum intervention to improve services to disconected youth in a community-based program. The second project highlights CBPR approaches to develop culturally-informed interventions for diverse populations by addressing health inequities and infectious diseases through the intersectionality of race, gender, and sexuality. The third project is on a Stepping Stones adaptation that looked at both historical trauma, distrust in outsiders, and the intersectionality of medicine and cultural practices. Commonalities, challenges, and success are compared among the projects.

Results: Visual models of factors and elements particular to the CBPR engagement of each project will be presented. These elements are community recognized or identified through conversations. Factors associated with the projects presented include: historical traumas (i.e. colonialism, disasters, immigration), current traumas (interpersonal, neighborhood violence, disasters), intersectionality perspectives (race, gender, sex). We will discuss how these begin during the stakeholder engagement process and are likely to change or develop overtime. We will also describe how these factors led to both successful and unsuccessful project outcomes.

Conclusions and implications: There are many contributing factors as to why CBPR processes struggle, however if consideration of trauma and intersectionality elements through visual models can help to illuminate the barriers and contribute to increased engagement, buy-in and outcomes. These models need to be flexible, as many of the elements are unknown. Audience participation will be utilized to develop a practice model for a hypothesized community to understand the impacts of COVID-19. Given the natural alignment of CBPR with Social Work values, improving methods of participation and processes, will enhance social research with diverse populations and continue its utility as a tool for social change.