Conflicts Between the Use of Scientific Knowledge in Treatment Practice and Human Subjects Protections: Unexpected Difficulties in Practice/Research Partnerships

Dana Peterson, University at Albany
David E. Duffee, University at Albany
William Scott Cunningham, University at Albany
Debernee S. Pugh, University at Albany

ABSTRACT
Translating research findings into practice can be done in a variety of ways. One of the most direct is to integrate research and practice in a process that is generally called action research. In this form of research, the typical rsearch-development-dissemination-adoption sequence is foreshortened and research takes place continuously on practice rather than being applied after it is conducted. When the practice in question is juvenile treatment, the application of action research becomes complicated by regulations that are established to protect involuntary and vulnerable subjects. In some treatment research centers these tensions will be present but solutions may be built in. However, many juvenile treatment agencies have no research capacity of their own and seek assistance of unviersity partners. This paper traces the conflicts beetween human subjects protection in research and the implementation of a research-practice partnership among two large juvenile treatment agencies and a nearby university research team. These partnerships do not fit well within the assumptions of human subjects protections in research and the implementation of a research-practice partnership among two large juvenile treatment agencies and a nearby university research team. These partnerships do not fit well within the assumptions of human subjects research policy, and conflicts arise between gathering high quality information and gaining access to the information.

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Updated 05/20/2006