Research in children's mental health lags behind research for adults in part because it is intrinsically context-bound. Children are embedded in families, in schools, and in communities who have responsibility for their care. Making research findings useful and ensuring that they are applied to improve the lives of children and families requires attention to these contexts. This entails a process of collaboration with many partners-teachers, nurses, healthcare providers, church leaders, neighborhood group directors, and other community leaders. The process of collaboration in children's mental health is complicated but the products that it yields have the potential to benefit both children and families. This volume, with the toolkit and casebook that it contains, distills the process of collaboration into manageable steps, and provides concrete examples of how researchers have addressed specific challenges. The premise of the book is that collaborative research, in contrast to traditional research paradigms, will yield findings that are more ethical, valid, and useful.
Highlighting the transformation of science from ivory-tower theories to action-oriented practices, the editors offer practical advice for researchers and practitioners interested in using data to inform and transform children's mental health. Concrete examples of projects that have involved community leaders and researchers provide an insider's guide to conducting successful collaborations that can yield better results than traditional top-down research paradigms.