Using Photovoice Methodology to Give “Voice” To those Typically Unheard

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Photovoice is a community-based participatory research (CBPR) methodology in which a collaborative partnership is formed between researchers and particular communities. Photovoice is a method where people are given cameras to document their lives. Participants then share and engage in a critical dialogue about the photos in order to capture information about personal and community/group issues. Using photos in this manner can provide a vehicle for the presentation of participants’ lived experiences as defined by themselves and can be used to foster community growth and change by reaching local institutions and policymakers. Such an approach allows for participants’ voices to truly be heard and for a deeper understanding of how people make meaning in their lives rather than imposing a research objective upon a community often with predetermined assumptions and outcomes. The photos provide a creative and effective way to record and discuss often difficult and deeply felt issues and mobilize a grassroots group to affect change. Photovoice has been used with numerous culturally diverse populations including rural Chinese women, neighborhood groups, people with mental illness in New Haven, CT, homeless men and women in Michigan, youth peer educators in South Africa, and many more. This workshop will describe the usage of Photovoice methodology in research, ethical issues involved with Photovoice, and two specific research studies using Photovoice—one where Photovoice was used as a participatory evaluation of a program for at-risk mothers and another where Photovoice was used to capture Latina girls’ perceptions of their health.


Keywords: Photovoice, Research Methodology, Community-based Participatory Research
Stream: Research Methodologies, Quantitative and Qualitative Methods
Presentation Type: Workshop Presentation in English
Paper: A paper has not yet been submitted.


Dr. Lisa Vaughn

Associate Professor, Department of Pediatrics, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center
Cincinnati, OH, USA

Lisa M. Vaughn, Ph.D. is currently Associate Professor of Pediatrics at University of Cincinnati College of Medicine/Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center in the Division of General and Community Pediatrics. She is formally trained as a social psychologist and counselor with a broad base of academic teaching, research, and community work. Her primary research interests are about socio-cultural issues affecting the health and well-being of families especially for immigrant and minority populations in the U.S. Given a life-long interest in other cultures, she has worked with universities and communities all over the world including Guatemala, South Africa, Lithuania, Denmark, and the Dominican Republic. Currently Dr. Vaughn is working on research studies that examine socio-cultural considerations for the health outcomes of children, health dimensions of Latina girls, cultural adaptation of families with internationally adopted children, the development of a parental cultural health attributions scale, and health perceptions of African immigrant families in Cincinnati.

Janet Forbes

Assistant Vice President, Education and Training
Cincinnati, OH, USA

Janet Forbes, M.S.Ed. is currently Assistant Vice President for Education & Training at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center. She is formally educated in Psychology (BA) and Education (M.S. Ed.) and is currently working on her PhD. in Training and Human Performance Improvement. Janet has expertise in training design and delivery, leader development, team performance, and career development. Currently she is working with Dr. Vaughn on her participatory action research utilizing Photovoice to evaluate a program for at-risk mothers and their children.

Britteny Howell

Data Coordinator, Education and Training, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center
Cincinnati, OH, USA

Britteny M. Howell, M.A. is currently Adjunct Professor of Anthropology Northern Kentucky University and the Data Coordinator and Analyst at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center in Education Research and Measurement. She is formally trained as a biological anthropologist and archaeologist who currently teaches cultural anthropology classes. Her primary research interests are in immigrant views of healthcare, socioeconomic factors of undernutrition and growth stunting, and skeletal trauma analyses. Her research interests in anthropology have taken her to work in Alaska, Scotland, Albania, and Peru. Currently she is working on research projects with Dr. Vaughn that examine the socio-cultural considerations for the health outcomes of immigrant families.

Ref: I08P0368