American Academy Blog

Translational Research and Effective Interventions in a Multicultural and Multilingual World

March 5, 2014 at 11:07 am Comments are off for this post

It is a reality for all of us that we live in an increasingly global and multicultural world. Within the United States, social work must increasingly confront the opportunities and challenges that are presented by a society that is more ethnically, racially and culturally diverse. Globalization makes all of us aware of our stronger connections to people all over the world. Social work is increasingly aware of the distance between research and practice, as well as the time it takes for the best research to disseminate into improved practice. Indeed the continuing and growing literature on translational research is designed to address the gap between research and practice. However, it is clear that such a process of translation now needs to take place in an increasingly multicultural and multilingual world. New integrative scholarship is needed. How do we think about translational research as a process of initiating conversations, sharing power, and making decisions with diverse communities? How do we think about the intricacies of translating assessment tools, and intervention protocols, across multiple languages and cultures? How do we continue to develop measurement strategies, and data analysis strategies that are sensitive enough to find both differences and similarities across cultural groups? And finally, once we have evaluated an intervention or a practice, how do we share our findings with members of our multicultural, multilingual, and increasingly diverse world?