Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Picture is worth a thousand words: Program uses art to engage at-risk kids and identify needs

Date:
January 21, 2010
Source:
University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences
Summary:
Identifying the public health and safety needs of children from low-income communities may be best accomplished through art, researchers report. In their paper, they describe the success of Visual Voices, an arts-based program that engages community members as partners in research.

During the Visual Voices sessions, participants created paintings and drawings to share their perceptions, both positive and negative, of community safety and violence, as well as their hopes for the future. Afterward, they combined their individual art projects into two “visual voice” exhibits that were publicly displayed in each city.
Credit: Image courtesy of University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences

Identifying the public health and safety needs of children from low-income communities may be best accomplished through art, report University of Pittsburgh researchers in the current online issue of Progress in Community Health Partnerships: Research, Education and Action. In their paper, researchers describe the success of Visual Voices, an arts-based program that engages community members as partners in research.

The study was based on Visual Voices programs conducted with 22 children ages 8 to 15 in two low-income and predominantly African-American communities in Baltimore and Pittsburgh. During the Visual Voices sessions, participants created paintings and drawings to share their perceptions, both positive and negative, of community safety and violence, as well as their hopes for the future. Afterward, they combined their individual art projects into two "visual voice" exhibits that were publicly displayed in each city.

Michael A. Yonas, Dr.P.H., Visual Voices creator and assistant professor, Department of Family Medicine, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, and colleagues at Pitt and the Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy, used qualitative research methods to review and code the participants' art projects for themes. Factors that participants identified as important to safety included school and social networks -- family, friends and the local community. Places that they identified as unsafe were corner stores, streets and alleys with poor lighting, and abandoned houses. Other contextual factors identified as unsafe were drugs, smoking, drinking, gambling, guns and violence.

"Community members are experts in their own lives much more so than those who reside outside their communities," said Dr. Yonas. "Visual Voices helps incorporate residents' unique expertise into the research process in a non-intrusive and fun way, and creates valuable data about their life experiences."

Visual Voices is different than surveys or focus groups because it uses tools -- crayons, paint and markers -- that are familiar to children, and it can lead to in-depth discussions, encourage self-efficacy and help build trusting relationships between academic researchers and the communities they serve, added Dr. Yonas. It also can help experts prioritize public health interventions.

In Pittsburgh, for example, findings were shared with the local police department to develop potential intervention opportunities and to increase law enforcement's understanding of young peoples' perceptions of safety.

"The heart of Visual Voices is to ask and listen," said Jessica G. Burke, Ph.D., study co-author and assistant professor, Department of Behavioral and Community Health Sciences, Pitt's Graduate School of Public Health. "You need to first ask what it is people care about in order to develop public health interventions that are appropriate for specific communities."

As an artist who specializes in painting, Dr. Yonas created Visuals Voices in 1993 to bring youth together in a common venue for artistic expression. He has conducted the program in nine cities across the U.S.

The project was funded by a grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to the Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy. Co-authors of the study include Kimberly Rak, University of Pittsburgh; Antoine Bennett, New Song Urban Ministries; Vera Kelly, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center; and Andrea C. Gielen, Sc.D., Sc. M., Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences. "Picture is worth a thousand words: Program uses art to engage at-risk kids and identify needs." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 21 January 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/01/100119121215.htm>.
University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences. (2010, January 21). Picture is worth a thousand words: Program uses art to engage at-risk kids and identify needs. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/01/100119121215.htm
University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences. "Picture is worth a thousand words: Program uses art to engage at-risk kids and identify needs." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/01/100119121215.htm (accessed April 24, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Study Says Most Crime Not Linked To Mental Illness

Study Says Most Crime Not Linked To Mental Illness

Newsy (Apr. 22, 2014) A new study finds most crimes committed by people with mental illness are not caused by symptoms of their illness or disorder. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
How Smaller Plates And Cutlery Could Make You Feel Fuller

How Smaller Plates And Cutlery Could Make You Feel Fuller

Newsy (Apr. 22, 2014) NBC's "Today" conducted an experiment to see if changing the size of plates and utensils affects the amount individuals eat. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Do We Get Nicer With Age?

Do We Get Nicer With Age?

Newsy (Apr. 22, 2014) A recent report claims personality can change over time as we age, and usually that means becoming nicer and more emotionally stable. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
How to Master Motherhood With the Best Work/Life Balance

How to Master Motherhood With the Best Work/Life Balance

TheStreet (Apr. 22, 2014) In the U.S., there are more than 11 million couples trying to conceive at any given time. From helping celebrity moms like Bethanny Frankel to ordinary soon-to-be-moms, TV personality and parenting expert, Rosie Pope, gives you the inside scoop on mastering motherhood. London-born entrepreneur Pope is the creative force behind Rosie Pope Maternity and MomPrep. She explains why being an entrepreneur offers the best life balance for her and tips for all types of moms. Video provided by TheStreet
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins