About the Project

People are the experts in their own lives and we need to value this expertise

In Canada, young people make up almost a quarter of the population. Yet, when it comes to research young people’s lives and worlds, youth voices and perspectives have yet to be fully realized. Currently, the majority of research about youth is done with youth as research subjects, rather than actively involving them in all parts of the research. This research project will move youth from just being participants to being active research partners. 

Youth, Technology, & Relationships

  • 99% of Canadian youth use the internet every day 
  • 45% of youth say that their internet use is “near constant” 
  • 76% of youth say social media has either a “neutral” or “mostly positive” impact on them 
  • The internet and social media can be an important tool for connecting young people 

Research Questions

How do youth understand risk, safety, and online relationships?

What are the strategies and practices youth use to navigate their online worlds?

What is Youth Participatory Action Research (YPAR)?

YPAR is a research approach based in social justice principals, where youth are trained in conducted research 
on issues that matter to them and their communities. 

With YPAR:
  • Youth are considered research partners, or co-researchers
  • Youth are involved throughout the research project
  • Youth take on leadership and decision-making roles
  • Youth have a say in the focus of the research and how it is conducted
  • Challenge traditional ideas of who can or should conduct research; it is not just adult researchers who can do this work
  • Youth have knowledge and insights that should be listened to 
  • When youth are involved in matters impacting them, we can create more meaningful results 
  • Can promote youths’ sociopolitical development and empowerment