Hear Our Voice: Insights from children of different cultural backgrounds living in low-income housing

Online Publication Date:
December 24, 2021
Publication Status:
Published Article MUSE Link:

** Published in Progress in Community Health Partnerships (PCHP) 15.4, December 2021. All rights reserved.**

Background: Children who experience poverty early in life or for an extended period of time become susceptible to chronic diseases like asthma and obesity during their life course. Intervening early in the life of children living in poverty could alter these trajectories.
Objectives: This study used a Photovoice method to examine how children from different ethnic/racial backgrounds frame the social and environmental factors that influence their physical and mental health.
Methods: We recruited a convenience sample of 13 children, aged from 9 to 14 years (4 African Americans, 4 Middle Eastern/Arabic, 4 Asian (Hmong) and 1 white). Each child was provided a camera and was asked to take pictures of things within their environment that influenced their health.
Results: Results were obtained by photo sorting activities and analysis of the interview transcripts. The children’s photographs stimulated individual and group discussions which yielded 5 themes confirmed by conventional content analysis: bullying, family, nature, food and public spaces.
Conclusion: The photovoice method was a successful way to provide a direct account of what the children think affects their health, engage various individuals from the community in the research process, and inspire social change and advocacy projects. The children’s concepts of factors in their communities that influence their health will be the target of future interventions designed to improve the health and wellbeing of children of color living in poverty.