179878 Utilizing the creative arts and participatory research methods to explore the dynamics of community violence with urban youth

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Michael Yonas, DrPH , School of Medicine, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA
Jessica Burke, PhD, MHS , Behavioral and Community Health Sciences, University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health, Pittsburgh, PA
Andrea C. Gielen, ScD, ScM , Health, Behavior & Society, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, MD
Understanding and preventing youth violence remains a high priority issue for all communities. Working together with young people to explore the dynamics of risk and protective factors is essential to developing culturally relevant and effective intervention and prevention efforts. This paper describes the utilization of an innovative participatory art-based approach called Visual Voices, to collaborating with young people and communities to understand and address the issue of community safety. This approach has four integrated mediums of expression: painting; drawing; writing; and photography that are collaged to create an exhibition common public exhibition as well as data collection. Central to this approach is the utilization of guided group critiques of the created works designed to acknowledge the unique and creative efforts in addition to more deeply exploring images and content expressed by participants. Working collaborative with youth between the ages of 8 and 14 identified from a local community-based organization in Baltimore City, this presentation reports the findings from a project focused on the topic of community safety. Young people participated in four two-hour creative project sessions and facilitated group discussions to explore created works. With permission, focus group discussions designed to assess the project characteristics and content were tape-recorded, transcribed verbatim, and analyzed using qualitative thematic data analysis. This interactive presentation will explore the lessons learned with utilizing the creative arts to working with young people in addition to presenting key findings of risk and protective factors for urban youth violence.

Learning Objectives:
At the conclusion of the session, the participant (learner) in this session will be able to: Recognize the benefits of utilizing a participatory research approach to investigating complexities of violence prevention and community safety Articulate a participatory process for engaging young people and communities as experts to understanding issues such as safety Describe specific protective and risk elements of community context related to community safety

Keywords: Violence Prevention, Community Collaboration

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a co-Investigator involved with the project and have been involved with the Visual Voices project for over 10 years.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

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.