Youth Photovoice Project: "Creating Safe Neighborhoods"

Manchester, NH

Aytur, A., Butcher, R., Carlson, C., & Schifferdecker, K. (2014). Creating safe neighborhoods for obesity prevention: Perceptions of urban youth. In: Brennan, V., Kumanyika, S., & Zambrana, R. (eds). Obesity Interventions in Underserved US Populations: Evidence and Directions. Johns Hopkins University. (November, 2014). ISBN 978-1-4214-1544-4.
Funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Active Living Research program.



Policy/Practice Implications:
NH State Health Improvement Plan (SHIP): obesity/diabetes, tobacco, injury prevention
NH Healthy Eating Active Living (HEAL) Healthy People, Healthy Places Plan
An art exhibit and community-wide photovoice training session was held at the end of the study to enable community members to conduct future projects
Manchester Neighborhood Health Improvement Strategy
City of Manchester  became a 2016 Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Culture of Health Prize Winner


Project Description:  Fourteen refugee/immigrant adolescents (ages 13-19) participated in a photovoice project for six weeks to explore youth perceptions of relationships between safety, active living, and healthy eating in the context of their daily lives.

Health Issues: Neighborhood safety and perceptions of opportunities for physical activity and healthy eating in two urban neighborhoods in Manchester,  NH

Lessons Learned & Themes:
Project enhanced understanding of immigrant/refugee teens’ perceptions of neighborhood safety, health, and active living.
As Photovoice sessions progressed, participants began to discuss ways that they could initiate change (e.g., serving on Youth Council;  engaging school staff).

cigarette signs.png
I took this picture of cigarette signs on a gas station next to Pulaski Park. Smoking is bad for you, yet the advertising is big and eye-catching. It’s weird that these ads are so close to a place that is healthy and good.
— S.R., 16
Trash in alleys where kids play.
— W.P., 15
Why can’t this vacant lot be used for a community garden or a sports field?
— S.R., 16