Study: ‘Photovoice’ Empowers Latino Youth to Spark Health Policy Change
Editor’s Note: This is a 20-part series featuring new research briefs on Latino childhood obesity, nutrition, physical activity and more by the 20 grantees of Salud America! Part 11 is Dr. Robert Dudley. Find all briefs here.
Dr. Robert Dudley
“Healthy Tomorrows for Latina Teens”
In his Salud America! pilot research project, Dr. Robert Dudley of Community Health Center, Inc., evaluated Health Tomorrows for Latina Teens, a five-year, federally-funded obesity prevention and advocacy training program for adolescent girls in New Britain, Conn.
To identify factors that promote or prevent physical activity among Latina teens, Dr. Dudley’s team taught girls Photovoice—a research method that puts cameras in people’s hands to assess community problems and assets, and then connects them to policymakers to pursue change.
Key preliminary findings include:
- barriers prevent Latina teen activity;
- photovoice can address these barriers; and
- photovoice can expedite policy change by facilitating direct, informal dialogue between policymakers and Latino youth.
The project spurred the local school district to add a P.E. credit recovery program. Two of the project’s participating teen girls also made a stirring presentation to their city council asking to clean and reopen two closed pools at local parks to add more activity options in town (see video below).
Results indicate that Photovoice is a viable, low-cost means of empowering Latina teens to develop leadership and advocacy skills. Further, the program helps to generate community support for increased physical activity.
Read more here.
Salud America! is an RWJF national program directed by the Institute for Health Promotion Research at The UT Health Science Center at San Antonio, the team behind SaludToday.
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