Theses Doctoral

Participatory Action Research with Chinese Co-Researchers Who Have Serious Mental Illness Diagnoses

Yung, Joyce

Engaging with marginalized communities to address issues of importance to their emotional well-being is central to counseling psychology’s core missions in social justice advocacy. Among those who have been historically viewed as deficient and marginalized are people who have been diagnosed with a serious mental illness (Schneider, 2012). Community-based psychosocial interventions have been identified as an effective form of treatment, particularly when they emphasize collaboration with community members, the empowerment of people with serious mental illnesses, the ability of such individuals to take action on behalf of themselves and others, and ownership of findings and knowledge by all partners (Corrigan & Garman, 1997; Davidson et al., 1999; Salzer, 2002). This dissertation study represents an attempt to position participatory action research (PAR) as such an intervention in the context of two marginalized identities—ethnic Chinese minority identity and the bearing of a serious mental illness diagnosis. The launching, design, and analysis of the PAR process with this population was tracked to examine the potential strengths and challenges of its utility in relation to Chinese survivors of serious mental illness. Through collaboration and dialogue, the project identified and addressed topics that the PAR co-researchers (the Chinese community members diagnosed with a serious mental illness) experienced as significant problems in their specific settings and took actions that resolved those problems, thus bridging theory and discussion topics with real-world situations, issues, and experiences, and leaving the community co-researchers and their respective agency better prepared to create such action in the future.


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More About This Work

Academic Units
Counseling Psychology
Thesis Advisors
Smith, Laura
Ph.D., Columbia University
Published Here
April 23, 2018