The challenge of low literacy in health promotion: using empowerment methods with out-of-school adolescents in North India

Mohajer, Nicole, and Earnest, Jaya (2010) The challenge of low literacy in health promotion: using empowerment methods with out-of-school adolescents in North India. Vulnerable Children and Youth Studies, 5 (1). pp. 88-96.

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Abstract

This article reports on a series of three-month projects undertaken among out-of-school adolescents in North India that used photographs and charts to elicit critical analysis of health in small groups led by peer educators. This method of "problematization" is a component of the empowerment model. The study found that the methodology of problematization through pictures was very effective in identifying the local knowledge level of semi-literate adolescents and bringing out relevant barriers to health. Knowledge of health topics improved and many participants began to attend school after the project; however, behaviour changes were limited by obstacles and challenges beyond the control of the adolescents. The methodology allowed for flexibility in order that the social and cultural contexts of this project, namely caste divisions, gender divisions, poor literacy and parental desire to “listen in”, could be incorporated into the design. It also allowed the unique social and cultural problems of the area regarding relationships, crime and alcohol to emerge as part of the discussions. Recommendations are that health promotion projects using empowering methods need to be long term and involve the entire community in order to be sustainable.

Item ID: 18231
Item Type: Article (Refereed Research - C1)
Keywords: adolescent, empowerment, health promotion, out-of-school, peer education
ISSN: 1745-0136
Date Deposited: 27 Sep 2011 07:02
FoR Codes: 11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1117 Public Health and Health Services > 111799 Public Health and Health Services not elsewhere classified @ 100%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9204 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) > 920412 Preventive Medicine @ 100%
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