260315 Challenges and Opportunities of Using Photovoice with Homeless and Marginally Housed Gender Variant Youth

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Kathryn Albergate, MPHc , Department of Health Education, San Francisco State University, San Francisco, CA
Chadwick Campbell, MPH , Center for Research and Education on Gender and Sexuality, San Francisco State University, San Francisco, CA
Cynthia Flock, MPH(c) , Department of Health Education, San Francisco State University, Oakland, CA
Luis Gutierrez-Mock, MA , Center for AIDS Prevention Studies, UCSF, Center of Excellence for Transgender Health, San Francisco, CA
ABSTRACT Background: Homeless gender variant youth report lacking a place of residence, but also, a recognized place in the larger society. Photovoice is a visual participatory research method that visually documents issues from the insider perspective; promotes dialog about pressing issues through group analysis of photographs; and empowers participants to speak about these issues to the larger community. The mission of Photovoice is to provide individuals from marginalized communities tools for advocacy to achieve positive social change. Methods: Fifteen homeless and marginally housed gender variant youth (18-24) participated in at least one of four Photovoice meetings during the month of June 2011. Participants took photographs of spaces where they felt a sense of belonging, analyzed the photographs in a group discussion process, and participated in one focus group. Results: The challenges of completing Photovoice with this population included financial support for equipment, recruitment of participants, retention of participants for all meetings, and limited meetings for group discussion process. The opportunities included built trust from participants, increased participant's sense of ownership and empowerment of the research, and provided rich qualitative data confirming that a lack of a sense of belonging exists among this population. Data from the project will be used for a youth dedicated space to be opened at a local LGBT serving agency where programming will be guided by a youth advisory board. Conclusion: Photovoice is an inherently creative and empowering method that allows access to valuable qualitative data within vulnerable populations, not possible with traditional research methods.

Learning Areas:
Assessment of individual and community needs for health education

Learning Objectives:
1. List 3 challenges of using Photovoice as a research method with homeless and marginally housed gender variant youth. 2. List 3 opportunities of using Photovoice as a research method with homeless and marginally housed gender variant youth.

Keywords: Photovoice, Gender

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am currently enrolled in a Master's of Public Health program, in which I have been part of a student research team that has collaborated with a local agency to complete a needs assessment. Outside of being a student, I currently hold the title of research assistant and coder for a university and research institution focusing on communication between medical provider and patient.
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.