Integrating Research and Practice with Immigrant Families
This partnership was built based on opportunity and shared interests in the experience of immigrant families during adolescence. Lynda Ashbourne, University of Guelph, Mohammed Baobaid, Executive Director, Muslim Resource Centre for Social Support and Integration (London), and Kamala Shiriyeva Azizova, a private practitioner in Hamilton, came together to extend Ashbourne's original research investigating the negotiation of family time during adolescence in non-immigrant families. The initial research project involved Baobaid and Shiriyeva Azizova as cultural consultants' engaged in recruitment, attending focus groups facilitated by Ashbourne, review of qualitative data analysis and thematic findings, and contributing to products used in knowledge dissemination. The success of the partnership is based in (a) shared interest, experience and commitment to supporting immigrant families; (b) taking time to engage in conversation and consultation at planning, implementation and outcome stages of research projects; (c) benefits to service provider collaborators and researchers of building on the research-practice link; (d) giving voice to participants directly within a focus group methodology; and (e) engaging cultural insiders directly to enhance credibility when working with a local cultural community. This research benefits families and service providers in the local community by building connections and informing institutional practice. It benefits family researchers more generally by broadening the diversity of family experience informing theory and practice.