Title

Using photoelicitation interviews as a method to study occupation with children: Reflections from the field

Start Time

22-10-2011 2:35 PM

End Time

22-10-2011 3:05 PM

Session Type

Event

Abstract

Intent: This presentation will provoke dialogue about the application of the photoelicitation interview (PEI) method in the context of research on occupation with children. PEI is a method of visual data collection used in combination with an interview process to draw out the viewer’s response (Harper, 2002; Prosser & Burke, 2008). Drawing on a review of the literature and the researchers’ experiences, practical considerations when engaging in the PEI method such as: flexibility, sensitivity to time demands, attention to developing rapport with children and the use of digital versus disposable cameras will be discussed.

Argument: Prosser & Burke (2008) suggest, “Words are the domain of adult researchers and therefore can be disempowering to the young. Images and their mode of production, on the other hand, are central to children’s culture from a very early age and therefore empowering” (p. 407). In addition, children may find it difficult to express their experiences with abstract social issues verbally (Croghan, Griffin, Hunter, & Phoenix, 2008). The use of photographs however, may allow children to approach the social and cultural dimensions of their experience in different ways, potentially generating richer discussions of their experience than can be obtained from interviews alone (Phelan & Kinsella, In Press).

The authors are currently working on a grounded theory research project, using PEI as a method to examine occupation and identity with children with physical disabilities. Children are asked to take pictures of their daily activities and participate in interviews using the pictures to elicit discussion about what they do. Examples of current research will be presented.

Importance to Occupational Science: Research on occupation with children is becoming more pertinent at a time when children’s occupations are gaining attention in efforts to foster health and well-being at a societal level (Active Healthy Kids Canada, 2010). The photoelicitation interview is an innovative method for researching occupation with children.

Conclusions: The potential of PEI methods when conducting research on occupation with children takes on a practical significance (i.e., gathering meaningful data), as well as a potentially moral one (i.e., overcoming disempowerment) (Phelan & Kinsella, In Press).

Discussion Questions:

  1. What are the benefits of using photoelicitation and other visual methods when researching occupation with children? Adults?
  2. How might the use of photoelicitation and other visual methods limit potential research findings on occupation? How might a researcher overcome such limitations?

References

Active Healthy Kids Canada (2010). Report card on physical activity for children and youth. Retrieved September 29, 2010, from http://www.activehealthykids.ca/ecms.ashx/2010ActiveHealthyKidsCanada ReportCard-longform.pdf

Croghan, R., Griffin, C., Hunter, J., & Phoenix A. (2008). Young people’s constructions of self: Notes on the use and analysis of the photo-elicitation methods. International Journal of Social Research Methodology, 11, 1-12. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13645570701605707

Harper, D. (2002).Talking about pictures: A case for photo elicitation. Visual Studies, 17, 13-26. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14725860220137345

Phelan, S. & Kinsella, E. A. (In Press). Photoelicitation interview methods and research with children: Possibilities, pitfalls and ethical considerations. In J. Higgs, A. Titchen, D. Horsfall & D. Bridges (Eds.). Creative spaces for qualitative researching...Living research. Sense Publishers: Rotterdam, The Netherlands.

Prosser, J., & Burke, C. (2008). Imaged-based educational research. Childlike perspectives. In J. G. Knowles & A. L. Cole (Eds.), Handbook of the arts in qualitative research (pp. 407-419). Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications.

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Theoretical paper

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Oct 22nd, 2:35 PM Oct 22nd, 3:05 PM

Using photoelicitation interviews as a method to study occupation with children: Reflections from the field

Intent: This presentation will provoke dialogue about the application of the photoelicitation interview (PEI) method in the context of research on occupation with children. PEI is a method of visual data collection used in combination with an interview process to draw out the viewer’s response (Harper, 2002; Prosser & Burke, 2008). Drawing on a review of the literature and the researchers’ experiences, practical considerations when engaging in the PEI method such as: flexibility, sensitivity to time demands, attention to developing rapport with children and the use of digital versus disposable cameras will be discussed.

Argument: Prosser & Burke (2008) suggest, “Words are the domain of adult researchers and therefore can be disempowering to the young. Images and their mode of production, on the other hand, are central to children’s culture from a very early age and therefore empowering” (p. 407). In addition, children may find it difficult to express their experiences with abstract social issues verbally (Croghan, Griffin, Hunter, & Phoenix, 2008). The use of photographs however, may allow children to approach the social and cultural dimensions of their experience in different ways, potentially generating richer discussions of their experience than can be obtained from interviews alone (Phelan & Kinsella, In Press).

The authors are currently working on a grounded theory research project, using PEI as a method to examine occupation and identity with children with physical disabilities. Children are asked to take pictures of their daily activities and participate in interviews using the pictures to elicit discussion about what they do. Examples of current research will be presented.

Importance to Occupational Science: Research on occupation with children is becoming more pertinent at a time when children’s occupations are gaining attention in efforts to foster health and well-being at a societal level (Active Healthy Kids Canada, 2010). The photoelicitation interview is an innovative method for researching occupation with children.

Conclusions: The potential of PEI methods when conducting research on occupation with children takes on a practical significance (i.e., gathering meaningful data), as well as a potentially moral one (i.e., overcoming disempowerment) (Phelan & Kinsella, In Press).

Discussion Questions:

  1. What are the benefits of using photoelicitation and other visual methods when researching occupation with children? Adults?
  2. How might the use of photoelicitation and other visual methods limit potential research findings on occupation? How might a researcher overcome such limitations?