[Distinguished Lecture Series] Using Visual Methods to Research Adolescents’ Trust Within: Supportive Youth-Adult Relationships

Date: August 12, 2021 12:00PM EDT

Trust is key to supportive youth-adult relationships yet also dynamic and abstract. Visual methods can be used during data collection to enhance the nature of interview data, helping participants better recall the past and think through abstract concepts (Copeland & Agosto, 2012), like trust. In this talk, I will discuss how I used visual methods within two qualitative studies to better understand adolescents’ trust in adults. I will first discuss a study on how adolescents developed trust in adult leaders at project-based youth programs with an emphasis on how using graphic elicitation enhanced the findings and enabled me to generate a Proposed Model of Trust Formation in Youth Program Contexts. I will then discuss a study in which visual prompts were used to address the question: in what ways, if any, do youth distinguish between trust and closeness when considering very important adults in their lives? Graphic elicitation was used to prompt adolescents to draw and describe how each construct changed in a relationship with a non-parental adult they identified as important. Visual methods were also used to analyze the data. I will conclude with reflections on the implications using visual methods have for qualitative research on abstract relational constructs.

About the Speaker:

Aisha Griffith is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Educational Psychology at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Her research focuses on the development and function of supportive relationships between adolescents and non-parental adults within informal and formal learning contexts. She is particularly interested in the critical role of trust within youth-adult relationships and how these relationships support positive adolescent development.

Zoom Link: https://umassboston.zoom.us/j/6176209147