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METHODS article

Front. Integr. Neurosci.
Volume 16 - 2022 | doi: 10.3389/fnint.2022.1007249

Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion in Developmental Neuroscience Research: Practical lessons from a Community-Based Participatory Research Study

  • 1University of California, Riverside, United States
Provisionally accepted:
The final, formatted version of the article will be published soon.

Exclusion of racialized minorities in neuroscience directly harms communities and potentially leads to biased prevention and intervention approaches. As magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and other neuroscientific techniques offer progressive insights into the neurobiological underpinnings of mental health research agendas, it is incumbent on us as researchers to pay careful attention to issues of diversity and representation as they apply in neuroscience research. Discussions around these issues are based largely on scholarly expert opinion without actually involving the community under study. In contrast, community-engaged approaches, specifically Community-Based Participatory Research (CBPR), actively involve the population of interest in the research process and require collaboration and trust between community partners and researchers. This paper outlines a community-engaged neuroscience approach for the development of our developmental neuroscience study on mental health outcomes in preadolescent Latina youth. We focus on ‘positionality’ (the multiple social positions researchers and the community members hold) and ‘reflexivity’ (the ways these positions affect the research process) as conceptual tools from social sciences and humanities. We propose that integrating two unique tools: a positionality map and Community Advisory Board (CAB) into a CBPR framework can counter the biases in human neuroscience research by making often invisible–or taken for granted-power dynamics visible and bolstering equitable participation of diverse communities in scientific research. We discuss the benefits and challenges of incorporating a CBPR method in neuroscience research with an illustrative example of a CAB from our lab, and highlight key generalizable considerations in research design, implementation, and dissemination that we hope are useful for scholars wishing to take similar approaches.

Keywords: Community-based participatory research (CBPR), Community advisory board (CAB), Community-engaged research, Developmental Neuroscience, Latinx families

Received:30 Jul 2022; Accepted: 24 Nov 2022.

Copyright: © 2022 Michalska, Firat, LaScala and Mullins. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) or licensor are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Dr. Kalina J. Michalska, University of California, Riverside, Riverside, United States