Online photovoice to explore and advocate for Muslim biopsychosocial spiritual wellbeing and issues: Ecological systems theory and ally development

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Robert W. Strack, Associate Professor and Department Head (Creator)
Ahmet Tanhan, MS, PhD (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:

Abstract: We aimed to examine the biopsychosocial spiritual strengths and concerns of college affiliated Muslims living in the southeast U.S. through an online photovoice study to enhance their biopsychosocial spiritual wellbeing. Muslims in the U.S., including those living in the southeast, face many issues (physical attacks, discrimination); yet, they are underserved and understudied. To conduct this study in a culturally and contextually appropriate way, we tailored photovoice to collect data online, modified interpretative phenomenological analysis to analyze data, and utilized ecological systems theory and ally theory as our theoretical framework. A total of 131 Muslims participated, of which 118 (80 men and 38 women) completed the participation. The results revealed eight distinct strength and nine concern clusters. The two most reported strengths were having a supportive community (n?=?57) and prayer in Islam (n?=?43). The two most reported concerns were lack of prayer facilities (n?=?54) and lack of support (n?=?32). Following the analysis, a photovoice exhibit and a community dinner were held, where the results were shared with the participants, allies (organizations, departments, chaplain, university), and key people such as administrators, the Muslim community, and others interested. The most important issues were addressed through advocacy, and the connection between Muslims and allies seemed to increase. This study has practical implications. Mental and public health professionals as providers, researchers, and educators must focus on the primary clusters to address Muslims’ biopsychosocial spiritual issues and wellbeing. The professionals can utilize the online photovoice to understand and serve other people contextually in more effective ways especially in the face of disasters (e.g., conflicts, wars, epidemics, pandemics, hurricanes) when it is much more convenient to participate online.

Additional Information

Current Psychology
Language: English
Date: 2020
Ecological systems theory, Muslim mental health, Online photovoice, Public health, Biopsychosocial spiritual issues and wellbeing, Interpretative phenomenological analysis

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