This research is being conducted from within the discipline of psychology, with psychology constituting one of a number of disciplines that together constitute the 'social sciences'. With a plethora of difficult to manage 'variables', the study of human beings within - or with reference to - the social environment is a 'messy', difficult business and can hardly be compared with the study of inanimate objects in controlled environments. Therefore social science is characterised by a vast array of research methods, methodologies and paradigms which intertwine and 'cross-pollinate' with each other in the attempt to position themselves to understand particular elements of human beings, in particular ways and in particular contexts. In the complext and dynamic world of human behaviour, the benefits of different approaches to research - and different research methods and 'tools' - are enormously advantageous. However the 'flip-side' of such choice and variety is that social science research is itself plagued by confusion - particularly with regard to research terms and language - and hence it is often difficult to understand exactly what has been achieved by particular studies and how - or whether - they intergrate into the central scientific project of coherent and orderly build up of knowledge.
One way to better communicate what is done in social science is by using metaphor to help 'tie' together - or 'ground' - usually abstract research elements such as research terms themselves, methodology, theoretical application of method and of course, the actuality of how a study was carried out and what was achieved. Such coherence is a particular requirment of CBPR, where inclusion of community partners and participants is a central pillar of the approach. One element of inclusion is 'accessibility' in relation to the research that community members may partake in. As such, metaphor - along with the production of this website - is used in the desire to make this research as physically and intellectually accessible as possible, not only to the study's community partners and their members but to fellow researchers and anyone else that may be interested.
Taking a number of factors into consideration - not the least of which is this researchers previous career in 'building work' - the metaphor adopted here is the metaphor of construction which also happens to be used frequently in psychological and other types of research. However, in what can be understood as a nuanced version of the 'construction metaphor', an 'organic' version is adopted on the basis that this particular conceptualisation 'fits with' and communicates the research more fully. (More details are provided on the origin, meaning and application of 'organic construction' on the methodology page of this site'.)
In line with the notion of 'organic construction', the research at the heart of this CBPR project is presented under the headings below. For optimum comprehension, visiting them in the order they are presented here is recommended.