Intergenerational Photovoice Projects: Optimizing This Mechanism for Influencing Health Promotion Policies and Strengthening Relationships

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Abstract

Intergenerational photovoice groups are promising for promoting health through the topic that is explored and through group dynamics that can foster healthy relationships and communication. To investigate the potential benefits of intergenerational photovoice projects, photovoice groups were conducted in urban Minnesota, United States, and in rural Morelos, Mexico, between 2009 and 2012 with Mexican-origin adults and their adolescent relatives. Seven photovoice groups of adult–adolescent dyads met for eight sessions and developed exhibits highlighting their views on health and migration and made policy recommendations, using messages conveyed through their words and photographs. Informal process evaluation and focus groups were used to elicit feedback about photovoice project participation. Photovoice project themes were descriptively analyzed. Focus group evaluation data were thematically summarized, and facilitator reflections were descriptively summarized to identify factors associated with intergenerational photovoice groups. Seventy-five participants were recruited. Photovoice themes represented effects of migration on health, family, and well-being. The following two evaluative themes were identified: (a) participant sentiments about the benefits of photovoice participation and (b) facilitator observations of intergenerational photovoice group benefits and challenges. Participants described opportunities to learn new things and barriers to healthy relationships that the project was eliminating by providing them with time to work together. Used in health promotion, photovoice is a valuable tool that contributes to understanding the complex underlying factors influencing behaviors and health.

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