Theory and Practice in Participatory Research: Lessons from the Native Elder Care Study

R. T. Goins, E. M. Garroutte, S. L. Fox, Sarah Dee Geiger, S. M. Manson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Models for community-based participatory research (CBPR) urge academic investigators to collaborate with communities to identify and pursue research questions, processes, and outcomes valuable to both partners. The tribal participatory research (TPR) conceptual model suggests modifications to CBPR to fit the special needs of American Indian communities. This paper draws upon authors’ collaboration with one American Indian tribe to recommend theoretical revision and practical strategies for conducting gerontological research in tribal communities. We rated the TPR model as a strong, specialized adaptation of participatory research principles. Although the need for some TPR mechanisms may vary, our experience recommends incorporating dissemination as a central TPR mechanism. Researchers and communities can expect well-crafted collaborative projects to generate particular types of positive project outcomes for both partners, but should prepare for both predictable and unique challenges.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)285-294
Number of pages10
JournalThe Gerontologist
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 1 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Aged, Minority health
  • CBPR
  • Indians, North American
  • TPR

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gerontology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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