Abstract: Incorporating Photovoice into an Existing Latinx Bilingual Community-Based Intervention: Lessons Learned from Your Family, Your Neighborhood (Society for Social Work and Research 25th Annual Conference - Social Work Science for Social Change)

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442P Incorporating Photovoice into an Existing Latinx Bilingual Community-Based Intervention: Lessons Learned from Your Family, Your Neighborhood

Tuesday, January 19, 2021
* noted as presenting author
Stephanie Lechuga-Peña, PhD, Assistant Professor, Arizona State University, Phoenix, AZ
Kalah M. Villagrana, MSW, MPA, Research Coordinator, Arizona State University, Phoenix, AZ
Felicia Mitchell, PhD, Assistant Professor, Arizona State University, Phoenix, AZ
Jéssica Marisol Marroquín, LMSW, Doctoral Student, Arizona State University, Phoenix, AZ
Background and Purpose: Your Family, Your Neighborhood (YFYN) supports and strengthens bonds between parents and their children by building parents’ attachment to their child’s school and fostering neighborhood social cohesion to promote positive youth development and improve health and well-being among Latinx families. Families enrolled in YFYN participate in this 12-week manualized curriculum culminating with a Photovoice project. Photovoice is a community-based participatory research method in which individuals, usually from marginalized groups, use photographs to document their lived experiences. The participant-generated photographs and accompanying narratives illustrate the realities of the participant photographer’s experiences, which can lead to a call for change. YFYN’s Photovoice component is implemented as a group-based project focused on the family unit. Families explore their community as a collective and capture images of the challenges and strengths they encounter in their community.

This paper discusses the methodological modifications of Photovoice in the YFYN program and lessons learned from integrating Photovoice into an established Latinx bilingual community-based intervention with families.

Methods: The Photovoice project was implemented during the YFYN program that was being administered at a large public Title I elementary school in the Southwest. Five families (20 participants) participated in the Photovoice project, four families spoke Spanish, and one family spoke English. Parent participants primarily identified as Latinx, female, low-income, and had a high school diploma or less. Participants were recruited by the school social workers, who were also lead facilitators for the YFYN program.

Families were instructed to take four photos of the strengths and four photos of the challenges in their community using their cell phones to capture photos. After taking their photos, parent participants forwarded them to the lead facilitator. Each family then selected two photos that represented the strengths and two photos that represented the challenges of living in their community. Once selected, the facilitator asked participants to describe their photos using the PHOTO method. From the images selected, the families identified the overarching themes of strengths and challenges through a facilitated group process. Participants then created display boards with their photos and narratives and presented their findings to each other and stakeholders in their community.


Community challenges identified included public dumping of trash in their neighborhood, inadequate space for their children to play, and the heavy traffic and lack of stop signs that impeded their ability to safely walk their children to school. Community strengths included the convenience of resources available in the community, including the Boys and Girls Club and local school, being able to socialize with neighbors they trust, and the connections they made in the YFYN program.

Conclusions and Implications:

This paper explores the practice implications of Photovoice by its incorporation into a family-based program, YFYN, while conducting it in two different languages, English and Spanish. Findings highlight the range of methodological modifications made to accommodate community preferences and the realities of community-based participatory research (CBPR) in a primarily Latinx bilingual community. Photovoice can be used with all people, communities, and language preferences to support community advocacy.