Effects of photovoice: Civic engagement among older youth in urban communities

Larry M. Gant, Kate Shimshock, Paula Allen-Meares, Leigh Smith, Patricia Miller, Leslie A. Hollingsworth, Trina Shanks

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Youth civic engagement is critical to many community empowerment initiatives. Photovoice is a popular empowerment technique for disenfranchised groups, including youth. The technique has little published empirical support. This research assesses Photovoice as a youth mobilization project within the context of an ongoing community development initiative. It was hypothesized that Photovoice participation would (a) improve students' interest in civic engagement and (b) have greater impact on older rather than younger adolescents. Thirty-three (33) youths (15-21 years of age) completed a Survey of Youth Engagement before and after Photovoice participation. Results indicate a main effect for age, with youths 18 years of age and older scoring significantly higher than youths under 18 years of age. This study suggests that Photovoice promotes significant changes in perceived civic engagement among older youths.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)358-376
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Community Practice
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2009


  • Comprehensive community initiatives
  • Evidence-based community practice
  • Photography
  • Photovoice
  • Popular education
  • Youth empowerment
  • Youth engagement

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Public Administration
  • Development


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