There is limited literature describing the ethical dilemmas that arise when conducting community-based participatory research. The following provides a case example of ethical dilemmas that developed during a multi-method community-based participatory action research project with youth in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Several ethical dilemmas emerged during the course of the study related to the community in which the research was being undertaken, the recruitment of participants, and the overall research process. As important are possible harm s that may arise when the researcher is no longer involved. These ethical dilemmas and potential solutions are discussed in relation to social work research and community-based practice to raise awareness about the essential role of community in informing ethical research practices


Ethical Dilemmas, Participatory Action Research, and Youth Engagement


The authors would like to express their appreciation to the funder, the Alberta Real Estate Foundation. They would also like to thank Amanda Sears and Natasha Kuzmak who worked as research assistants on the project; Anna Brassard for her work on the study conceptualization; and Lindsey Thurston, Linda Keenan, Kim Morrison, and Alison Karim-McSwiney our community partners. Finally, they would like to thank the youth participants and their families who gave the project vision and voice.

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