Background: Adapting mental health interventions to heighten their cultural and contextual appropriateness may be critical for engaging ethnic/racial groups that have been traditionally excluded or marginalized. Community-based participatory research (CBPR) is a collaborative research approach that highlights unique strengths and expertise of those involved. Although intervention adaptations have garnered much attention there is little previous work specifically describing the adaptation process of mental health interventions using CBPR.
Objective: This article summarizes the use of a CBPR approach to adapt a mental health intervention for urban adolescents and young adults disconnected from school and work, a population at elevated risk for poor mental health owing to the presence of numerous chronic stressors.
Methods: We describe the process undertaken to modify the content and delivery format of an evidence-based intervention.
Lessons Learned: Unique challenges of working with urban African American adolescents and young adults in a job training program are highlighted. By incorporating principles of co-learning and shared responsibility, this partnership was able to achieve positive outcomes.
Conclusion: Our experience suggests that a CBPR approach can be used effectively to adapt a mental health intervention in collaboration with African American adolescents and emerging adults in a job training program.