155793 Using photovoice to examine perceived consequences of sex among female adolescents

Wednesday, November 7, 2007: 9:00 AM

Disa L. Cornish, MS , Department of Health Behavior, UAB School of Public Health, Birmingham, AL
Lucy Annang, PhD , Department of Health Behavior, UAB School of Public Health, Birmingham, AL
Almost half of new sexually transmitted infection (STI) cases each year occur among youth ages 15 to 24. Young women are at especially high risk and may perceive the impacts of sex differently depending on socio-demographic differences, such as social support or peer networks. Different prevention goals may motivate their choices of contraception methods. The purpose is to present photovoice as an innovative methodology to explore youth perceptions and raise awareness of youth concerns on the local policy stage.

Photovoice is a qualitative method of inquiry which involves individuals photographing their daily realities and then discussing the photographs and their associated meanings in a group setting. Discussion creates an opportunity to more clearly view and differentiate between concerns on the individual and community levels. Participants use cameras as tools to document their environments and communicate their concerns to policy makers. Photovoice brings participants onto the local policy playing field and provides an opportunity to increase awareness and knowledge about their own experiences.

As a group not often included in policymaking, adolescent photovoice participants have the opportunity to stake a claim on the attention of local media and policy makers to raise awareness of their concerns. Research in this area involving low-income 14 and 15 year old females in the photovoice process assesses the perceived consequences of sexual activity and prevention priorities in this population. Qualitative results of photovoice sessions and the process of translating these results into policy recommendations will be presented.

Learning Objectives:
Understand the current epidemiologic and behavioral risk profile of adolescent females with regard to reproductive health. Describe the photovoice method and its applications with a variety of populations. Apply results from photovoice to recommendations for policy change.

Keywords: Adolescent Health, Reproductive Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Any relevant financial relationships? No
Any institutionally-contracted trials related to this submission?

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.