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Article

It Starts with a Conversation: The Importance of Values as Building Blocks of Engagement Strategies in Community-Centered Public Health Research

1
Neurology Department, Columbia University Irving Medical Center, New York, NY 10033, USA
2
Center for Systems and Community Design, Graduate School of Public Health & Health Policy, City University of New York, New York, NY 10027, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Freya MacMillan, Joanna Schwarzman, Kate McBride and Jane Sixsmith
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(6), 2940; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18062940
Received: 25 January 2021 / Revised: 21 February 2021 / Accepted: 2 March 2021 / Published: 13 March 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Working with Communities to Promote Health)
This study examined the life-motivating values of residents in underserved minority communities to inform the development of community engagement strategies. Semi-structured interviews were conducted to explore the main research questions: (1) what were the values of research participants, and (2) what did they consider important in their lives? The participants included twenty-seven ethnically diverse individuals living in low-income neighborhoods in New York City (NYC). Thematic analysis was performed to identify common themes and patterns related to the values that participants considered important in their lives. Three broad themes were identified: (1) benevolence; (2) universalism, and (3) self-direction. Benevolence implies a sense of belonging as the central meaning in life; community engagement strategies focused on this value emphasize concern for the welfare of loved ones. Community engagement strategies focused on universalism emphasize social justice and concern for the environment and the world. Finally, community engagement strategies focused on self-direction seek to satisfy participants’ needs for control, autonomy, and mastery. This study introduces the Value-Based Framework for Community-Centered Research. It illustrates how value exploration is central to a community-centered approach to public health research and can be an important first step for designing studies that are better aligned with community needs and contexts. Such an approach can also help to co-create a “research identity” with community members and integrate their values into a project’s purpose, thereby increasing community ownership and engagement in the study. View Full-Text
Keywords: community-centered research; values; underserved communities; minorities; low-income; benevolence; universalism; self-direction; community engagement; community-based research; Value-Based Framework for Community-Centered Research community-centered research; values; underserved communities; minorities; low-income; benevolence; universalism; self-direction; community engagement; community-based research; Value-Based Framework for Community-Centered Research
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MDPI and ACS Style

Swierad, E.M.; Huang, T.T.-K. It Starts with a Conversation: The Importance of Values as Building Blocks of Engagement Strategies in Community-Centered Public Health Research. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18, 2940. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18062940

AMA Style

Swierad EM, Huang TT-K. It Starts with a Conversation: The Importance of Values as Building Blocks of Engagement Strategies in Community-Centered Public Health Research. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2021; 18(6):2940. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18062940

Chicago/Turabian Style

Swierad, Ewelina M., and Terry T.-K. Huang. 2021. "It Starts with a Conversation: The Importance of Values as Building Blocks of Engagement Strategies in Community-Centered Public Health Research" International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 18, no. 6: 2940. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18062940

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