Abstract: Exploring Stories of Reciprocity in Intergenerational Programming through Participatory Video (Society for Social Work and Research 27th Annual Conference - Social Work Science and Complex Problems: Battling Inequities + Building Solutions)

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SSWR 2023 Poster Gallery: as a registered in-person and virtual attendee, you have access to the virtual Poster Gallery which includes only the posters that elected to present virtually. The rest of the posters are presented in-person in the Poster/Exhibit Hall located in Phoenix A/B, 3rd floor. The access to the Poster Gallery will be available via the virtual conference platform the week of January 9. You will receive an email with instructions how to access the virtual conference platform.

Exploring Stories of Reciprocity in Intergenerational Programming through Participatory Video

Friday, January 13, 2023
Maryvale A, 2nd Level (Sheraton Phoenix Downtown)
* noted as presenting author
Amber Dukart, BA, MSW Student, University of Calgary, Calgary, AB, Canada
Background and Purpose: Ageism is considered one of the most socially accepted forms of social prejudice and can have damaging effects for both older adults and youth. Ageism dehumanizes individuals, discourages socialization between generations, and contributes to social isolation, which is also common among youth and older adults in Canada. Given the impacts of ageism and social isolation, there is growing interest in research and practice in intergenerational programs (IGPs) that foster connections between generations. While a growing body of research has been conducted on IGPs, contextualized and in-depth knowledge of the experiences of older adults and youth are largely missing. Additionally, very few studies explicitly focus on the notion of reciprocity within intergenerational interactions, and instead focus on only one side of the relationship. This research seeks to understand the reciprocal impacts of the intergenerational relationships developed through an IGP from the perspectives of youth and older adult program participants using participatory video (PV).

Methods: Four older adults and youth who participate in IGPs at a community agency in Calgary, Canada are a part of this research project. This study consists of (1) individual narrative interviews and (2) a group PV workshop where participants co-created short films that share stories of their experiences in an IGP. Interviews elicited participants’ narratives about their involvement in IGPs, including the impacts of the relationships built through the program and any challenges or barriers they faced. The PV portion is a transformative process that involves community members creating short films to communicate their stories about intergenerational programs and relationships. Participants are viewed as experts in their own experiences and actively involved in the meaning-making process. Interviews and PVs were analyzed using a narrative analysis procedure which looks for resonances across individual narratives rather than themes.

Results: This project elucidates youth and older adults’ stories of their participation in IGPs which highlight reciprocal transformation, solidarity across generations, and changed perspectives of other generations.

Conclusions and Implications: This research contributes to a growing body of knowledge on intergenerational programming by adding the voices, stories, and perspectives of youth and older adults in IGPs, which have often been unheard in previous research. By making these experiences known, these stories can influence and change narratives about youth and older adults and their involvement in IGPs. This study also provides new knowledge to the field of social work about the impacts, challenges, and barriers that exist for participants in IGPs that can inform future programs.