Concept mapping as an approach to facilitate participatory intervention building

Michele L. Allen, Dane Schaleben-Boateng, Cynthia S. Davey, Mikow Hang, Shannon Pergament

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Background: A challenge to addressing community-defined need through community-based participatory intervention building is ensuring that all collaborators’ opinions are represented. Concept mapping integrates perspectives of individuals with differing experiences, interests, or expertise into a common visually depicted framework, and ranks composite views on importance and feasibility. Objectives: To describe the use of concept mapping to facilitate participatory intervention building for a school-based, teacher-focused, positive youth development (PYD) promotion program for Latino, Hmong, and Somali youth. Particiants were teachers, administrators, youth, parents, youth workers, and community and university researchers on the projects’ community collaborative board. We incorporated previously collected qualitative data into the process. Methods: In a mixed-methods process we 1) generated statements based on key informant interview and focus group data from youth workers, teachers, parents, and youth in multiple languages regarding ways teachers promote PYD for Somali, Latino and Hmong youth; 2) guided participants to individually sort statements into meaningful groupings and rate them by importance and feasibility; 3) mapped the statements based on their relation to each other using multivariate statistical analyses to identify concepts, and as a group identified labels for each concept; and 4) used labels and statement ratings to identify feasible and important concepts as priorities for intervention development. Results: We identified 12 concepts related to PYD promotion in schools and prioritized 8 for intervention development. Conclusions: Concept mapping facilitated participatory intervention building by formally representing all participants’ opinions, generating visual representation of group thinking, and supporting priority setting. Use of prior qualitative work increased the diversity of viewpoints represented.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)599-608
Number of pages10
JournalProgress in Community Health Partnerships: Research, Education, and Action
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 The Johns Hopkins University Press.


  • CBPR
  • Concept mapping
  • Hmong
  • Intervention building
  • Latino
  • PYD
  • Participatory
  • Participatory analysis
  • Positive youth development
  • Somali


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