Using Photo-Elicitation to Explore Young Adult Perspectives

Using Photo-Elicitation to Explore Young Adult Perspectives on Coping with Type 1 Diabetes

Stephanie T. Melton, MA, MPH, Nicole Johnson, DrPH, MPH, MA


Objective: Young adults with type 1diabetes face multiple challenges managing their disease and navigating the life transitions of emerging adulthood. This places them at increased risk for poor health and psychological outcomes. The purpose of the present formative evaluation study was to assess the impact of diabetes on their lives and identify salient messages for health promotion using an online photo elicitation technique. Research Design and Method: Thirty young adults participated by submitting photographs and written narratives describing how diabetes has impacted their lives. Results: Diabetes negatively impacts young adults social connections, identity, and self-perceptions; yet, mechanisms for coping and personal growth were identified among participants. Conclusions: Young adults with diabetes face significant challenges in coping with the disease; however, they are able to reframe their experience in positive ways using effective coping strategies such as communicating with others who understand what life with diabetes is like and developing social connections.

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