Latina Youths' perceptions of children's environmental health risks in an agricultural community

  • Postma J
  • Peterson J
  • Ybarra Vega M
 et al. 
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OBJECTIVES: The objective of this study was to identify Latina youths' perceptions of local assets and concerns related to children's environmental health (EH) in an agricultural community. DESIGN AND SAMPLE: Four photovoice sessions were used to elicit 6 promotores' and 5 middle school students' perspectives on problems and strengths related to "children; environment; and health." MEASURES: Data collection was diverse and included a demographic and evaluation questionnaire, photographs, audio recordings of group photo-sharing sessions, and field notes. RESULTS: Participants identified three themes that reflected group discussion during two photo-sharing sessions: a lack of structured youth activities; poverty and stress; and benefits and detriments of agricultural work. Community assets related to creating a healthy environment for youth were identified and included the clinic, churches, and youth programs. CONCLUSIONS: Findings from this study reinforce that social background and position affect how EH issues are defined and may be addressed. Participant perspectives are valuable to nurses because they offer a lens through which to see the complexities of EH from the viewpoint of those most directly affected. Leadership training and opportunities to serve on coalitions and neighborhood councils are recommended approaches to meaningfully involving youth in environmental justice initiatives.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Agriculture
  • Community-based participatory research
  • Environmental health
  • Hispanic-American
  • Photovoice

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  • Julie Postma

  • Jeff Peterson

  • Mary Jo Ybarra Vega

  • Cristian Ramon

  • Guadalupe Cortes

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