Visual Voices: A Participatory Method for Engaging Adolescents in Research and Knowledge Transfer

Michael A. Yonas, Jessica G. Burke, Elizabeth Miller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Integrating the expertise and perspectives of adolescents in the process of generating and translating research knowledge into practice is often missed, yet is essential for designing and implementing programs to promote adolescent health. This paper describes the use of the arts-based participatory Visual Voices method in translational research. Visual Voices involves systematic creative writing, drawing, and painting activities to yield culturally relevant information which is generated by and examined with adolescents. Qualitative data products include the created artistic products and transcripts from group discussions of the content developed and presented. Data are analyzed and compared across traditional (e.g., transcripts) and nontraditional (e.g., drawings and paintings) media. Findings are reviewed and interpreted with participants and shared publicly to stimulate community discussions and local policy and practice changes. Visual Voices is a novel method for involving adolescents in translational research though Integrated Knowledge Transfer (IKT), a process for bringing researchers and stakeholders together from the stage of idea generation to implementing evidence-based initiatives.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)72-77
Number of pages6
JournalClinical and Translational Science
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Adolescent health
  • Community based
  • Knowledge transfer
  • Participatory research methods
  • Youth engagement

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics(all)


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