A PILOT STUDY INVESTIGATING VETERAN IDENTITY USING THE PHOTOVOICE TECHNIQUE IN A QUALITATIVE, COMMUNITY-BASED PARTICIPATORY ACTION RESEARCH FRAMEWORK**
Veteran identity has been defined as a veteran’s self-concept that derives from their military experience within a sociohistorical context. Reintegration into civilian life can be difficult, experiencing a “reverse culture shock” that can negatively impact many interpersonal relationships and result in experiencing negative feelings such as helplessness, isolation, and emotional disconnection. Understanding how veterans define themselves in their civilian lives can give us insight that could bridge the gaps between them and their available support systems. We utilized a qualitative, community-based participatory action research (CbPAR) model where veterans are empowered to use their voices to tell their stories and researchers serve to help communicate their stories to the community. We are using the photovoice technique where Veterans take pictures that represent the answer to the following prompt: What does being a veteran mean to you? This study is part of a larger project using photovoice and lyric analysis to help define the “sights and sounds” of veteran identity. Our Veterans will then be interviewed individually where they are asked questions to help the researchers understand the symbolism of the images relating to the prompt for them. Transcripts of the interviews are being analyzed to uncover common themes and elements that represent a definition of veteran identity. Preliminary results of these analyses will be discussed after completion of our member-checking process, which helps establish external validity within the community. Our next aim is to present the images and our results in an immersive, interactive gallery experience to allow for the veterans’ stories to be told. We argue that without more emphasis on qualitative, CbPAR methodologies, research with special and/or marginalized populations, like veterans, will continue to be more exploitative than beneficial and will further reinforce the distrust in scientists and clinicians already experienced by many in these populations.
Zarker*, Alicia; Robertson*, Meredith; Fahy*, Trenholm; Robinson*, Dawson; Peebles, Laurie; and Jett, Stephanie E.
"A PILOT STUDY INVESTIGATING VETERAN IDENTITY USING THE PHOTOVOICE TECHNIQUE IN A QUALITATIVE, COMMUNITY-BASED PARTICIPATORY ACTION RESEARCH FRAMEWORK**,"
Georgia Journal of Science, Vol. 81, No. 1, Article 142.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.gaacademy.org/gjs/vol81/iss1/142