University–community partnerships using a participatory action research model to evaluate the impact of dance for health

Rahshida Atkins, Janet A. Deatrick, Cory Bowman, Ansley Bolick, Ian McCurry, Terri H. Lipman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Little is known about fostering sustainable, collaborative community-academic partnerships that effectively improve physical activity and health in residents of under resourced communities using Participatory Action Research (PAR) driven models. The purpose of this PAR study was to evaluate the impact of an urban, intergenerational, and physical activity dance program by identifying community preferred measurable outcomes that promote program participation and sustainability. A descriptive, qualitative design was employed using semi-structured interview guides to facilitate discussions for two adult focus groups and one youth focus group. Exactly 19 community-residing adults and six youth who lived in urban neighborhoods in West Philadelphia participated in the discussions. The audiotapes were transcribed and analyzed using directed content analysis. Five outcome themes emerged and included: (1). Enhancing the psychological and emotional well-being of the individual, (2). Enhancement of social well-being and management of interpersonal relationships and responsibilities (3). Enhancing and promoting physiologic well-being (4). Changes in health promoting behaviors and skill acquisition, and (5). Concerns about accessibility of dance for health and other physical activity programs in the community. Focused attention to measuring community preferred outcomes can promote sustainability of Dance for Health and possibly other urban-based physical activity dance programs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number113
JournalBehavioral Sciences
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 14 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Psychology(all)
  • Development
  • Genetics
  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


  • Academic community partnerships
  • Content analysis
  • Health behavior disparities
  • Outcomes evaluation
  • Participatory action research
  • Physical activity
  • Qualitative research


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