Exploring Mexican adolescents' perception of environmental health risks: a photographic approach to risk analysis

Susanne Börner, Juan Carlos Torrico Albino, Luz Maria Nieto Caraveo, Ana Cristina Cubillas Tejeda

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3 Citations (Scopus)
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The objective of this study was to explore Mexican adolescents' perceptions of environmental health risks in contaminated urban areas, and to test the environmental photography technique as a research tool for engaging adolescents in community-based health research. The study was conducted with 74 adolescents from two communities in the city of San Luis Potosi, Mexico. Participants were provided with disposable cameras and asked to take photographs of elements and situations which they believed affected their personal health both at home and outside their homes. They were also asked to describe each photograph in writing. Photographs and written explanations were analyzed by using quantitative and qualitative content analysis. Risk perception plays a crucial role in the development of Risk Communication Programs (RCPs) aimed at the improvement of community health. The photography technique opens up a promising field for environmental health research since it affords a realistic and concise impression of the perceived risks. Adolescents in both communities perceived different environmental health risks as detrimental to their well-being, e.g. waste, air pollution, and lack of hygiene. Yet, some knowledge gaps remain which need to be addressed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1617-1627
Number of pages11
JournalCiencia e Saude Coletiva
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 2015


  • Risk perception
  • Environmental health risks
  • Photography
  • Adolescent health
  • Environmental education


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