The Resilience Research Centre // rrc@dal.ca // +1 902 494 3050

Visual Elicitation Methods

The RRC often integrates visual elicitation methods into research projects using video and photo data (see Negotiating Resilience and Spaces and Places). In our experience, using these methods allows youth to reflect on the research topic before going into an interview. It also gives them control over the interview process allowing youth to introduce topics of importance.

To document processes associated with resilience, the RRC has been making videos of a full day in the life of youth in many different cultures and contexts. Filming begins soon after the youth wakes up and continues for as much of the day as possible. We combine these videos and photographs in elicitation interviews. This helps us explore, with youth, their lives as well as what they do and what others do for them, that help the youth cope.

The Techniques

Following the filming, each youth is given a camera and asked to take pictures of aspects of their lives that help explain how they cope with adversity. We generally give youth about a week to do this to give them time for reflection and meaningful pictures. We ask them not to delete any photos as sometimes those photos turn out to be meaningful. We have also found that in some communities and contexts, asking youth to use their cell phones or iPods is the best approach. The youth are familiar with this technology are therefore more likely to remember to take photos since it is already part of their daily life. While the youth take their photos, each day-long video capture is reviewed by the local site researcher and research assistants. Each reviewer suggests a selection of focal interchanges that are felt to exhibit aspects of resilience. Adult members of the team then create a 30-minute compilation of clips that they think demonstrate aspects of protective processes associated with resilience.

For further details, including questions regarding the ethics of using this methodology, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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