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Culturally Sensitive From the Outset

Posted on July 3, 2008

Cultural validity is central to her research, states Nancy Gonzales (bio).

 

The issue of cultural validity in terms of research methods and interventions has been such a central focus of my work that it's kind of been, it's defined everything we've done. And so, in fact, we used a model of very high standards for what we would call acceptable culturally sensitive research, which is very slow moving and painstaking because you want to really make sure that the measures that you've developed are relevant to the population and you want demonstrations that the measures work before you then go to the next step to use them in studies.

So in fact, I'm relieved to finally be out of the stage of developing measures to having been able to conduct some studies and develop interventions and see them implemented. And sometimes I think my students look at that trajectory and think, "forget it, that's too much for us to take on." But in fact, I think as a field, we've moved, we've come a long way, and that more and more researchers from the outset are implementing these strategies as a normal course of what we do, and hopefully that'll lead to more culturally sensitive research across the board, not just people who've identified it as their career focus.

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Excerpted from interview with researcher at the 2008 Developing Interventions for Latino Children, Youth, and Families Conference in St. Louis, MO.

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