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Record ID: 293
Award(s): Excellence in Research Mentoring
Program Affiliation: Ronald E. McNair Post-baccalaureat Achievement Program
Student Major: Psychology
Project Advisor: Dana Harley
Abstract: Poverty overwhelmingly affects the Black community. African Americans compose 24% of those in poverty and African American minors represent 30% of children living in poverty. The impact of being impoverished not only negatively affects the adolescents' physical health but also their mental health. Seeing these issues, Dr. Harley created Photovoice as a Tool for Informing the Development of a Culturally Sensitive Behavioral Health Measure for Vulnerable Adolescents which questions how African American adolescents from low-income neighborhoods perceive and experience hope. Participants were asked to photograph what Hope means to them and were later interviewed. From these interviews five themes arose, those being basic needs, spirituality, education, personal agency, and caring connections. Seeing the photos and statements for caring connection, I decided to dive deeper and create my own research proposal. Photovoice as a tool for understanding the caring connections of vulnerable Black youth and adolescents questions how Black youth in low-income neighborhoods perceive their relationships with their parents or caregivers. Furthermore, how are these relationships connected to well-being? This study aims to understand the bond between caring connections and well-being. Understanding this relationship is vital in strengthening the Black communities' physical and emotional health and most importantly creating a culturally sensitive behavioral health measure that will assist vulnerable youth. If we as researchers can continue to be mindful and vigilant in helping at-risk youth, we can create a more culturally sensitive attitude surrounding their lives and motivate them to excel in their futures.