Handbook for Participatory Action Researchers

Karen Danley and Marsha Langer Ellison

Handbook for Participatory Action Researchers


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(PDF file)

© Get Permissions Audience: Recommended for educators, researchers, administrators, and program directors.


This handbook provides guidelines for conducting participatory action research (PAR) with people who have psychiatric disabilities. PAR has gained prominence as a method for insuring the relevance and utility of research by involving the people the research is intended to impact in a co-learning process with investigators. The handbook supplies principles and strategies that can be modified to respond to different purposes and contexts of conducting PAR, i.e., program evaluation, experimental, and qualitative research.

Although the examples and learnings are drawn from a particular PAR project with people who have psychiatric disabilities, the strategies described are applicable to PAR projects with any other population.

Citation: Danley, K., & Ellison, M. (1999). A handbook for participatory action researchers. Boston, MA: Boston University Center for Psychiatric Rehabilitation.

Product Details

PDF file: 28 Pages
Product Dimensions:
 8.5 x 11 inches

Table of Contents

Chapter 1: An Introduction to Participatory Action Research
Chapter 2: Operational Principles
Chapter 3: Some Final Thoughts


Karen Danley Karen Danley, PhD, was Director of Development at the Center for Psychiatric Rehabilitation and research assistant professor of rehabilitation counseling at Boston University. Prior to that position Dr. Danley was the Center’s Director of Services. Dr. Danley is well known for describing the vocational applications of the psychiatric rehabilitation approach through numerous articles, training materials, and presentations.


Marsha Langer Ellison, PhD, worked as a Senior Research Associate at the Center for
Psychiatric Rehabilitation and as a Research Assistant Professor at the Sargent College of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences at Boston University. For over 15 years, Dr. Ellison has conducted policy and evaluation research in the disability area and has participated in the Center’s investigation of the recovery framework. Along with her co-principal investigator, she was awarded an Advanced Rehabilitation Research Training Program award by the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research in which she is responsible for post-doctoral training in psychiatric rehabilitation and recovery. She has completed a project exploring how people with psychiatric disabilities return to employment in mid- and upper-level careers, and in policy development for personal assistant services for people with psychiatric disabilities.


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