A mixed methods PAR study investigating social capital as a resource for Black and other racially minoritised communities in the UK: A study protocol

Georgina Gnan, Zara Asif, Sanchika Campbell, Jacqui Dyer, Anna Ehsan, Katrin Hoffmann, Hanna Kienzler, Shabbir Mellick, Nathaniel Martin, Cheryl Osei, Abreen Rebello, Imade Remouche, Rebecca Rhead, Denise Richards, Ibrahim Sabra, Sara Sabra, Pippa Sterk, Charlotte Woodhead, Stephani Hatch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Understanding how different Black and other racially minoritised communities thrive is an emerging priority area in mental health promotion. Literature demonstrates health benefits of social capital (social resources embedded within social networks). However, its effects are not always positive, particularly for certain subpopulations who are already disadvantaged.The CONtributions of social NEtworks to Community Thriving (CONNECT) study will use Participatory Action Research (PAR) to investigate social capital as a resource that benefits (or hinders) racially minoritised communities and their mental health. The CONNECT study was designed within a partnership with community organisations and responds to local policy in two South-East London Boroughs, thereby providing potential channels for the action component of PAR. Taking an anti-racism lens, we acknowledge the underpinning role of racism in creating health inequities. We apply an intersectional framework to be considerate of overlapping forms of oppression such as age, gender, socioeconomic status, and sexual orientation as an essential part of developing effective strategies to tackle health inequities. Key components of this mixed methods PAR study include (1) involving racialised minority community members as peer researchers in the team (2) collecting and analysing primary qualitative data via interviews, photovoice, and community mapping workshops, (3) developing relevant research questions guided by peer researchers and collaborating organisations and analysing secondary quantitative data accordingly, (4) integrating qualitative and quantitative phases, and (5) working closely with community and policy partners to act on our findings and use our research for social change.The PAR approach will allow us to engage community (voluntary sector and government) and academic partners in decision making and help address imbalances in power and resource allocation. Knowledge generated through this collaborative approach will contribute to existing community initiatives, policies, and council strategies. This will ensure the views and experiences of racially minoritised communities drive the changes we are collaboratively committed to achieving.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0296125
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number12 December
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2023


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