Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Master of Arts




Susan Rodger


As a part of a larger community mental health needs assessment, grade four students’ experiences of emotions related to mental health constructs were examined using photovoice methodology. Descriptive statistics from a large-scale survey were included to add context to the findings. The overall purpose of the study aimed to: (a) inform the school-based mental healthcare initiative that will be implemented in the school of the participants, and (b) add to the literature regarding children’s self-reported experiences of emotions. Photovoice allowed participants to visually represent their experiences and engage in dialogue about emotions linked to mental health and illness. Discussion questions were designed to uncover the situations in which children experience the emotions of sadness, worry, anger, and happiness, as well as what they find to be helpful in handling or promoting these emotions. Four major themes were uncovered during the content analysis of the photovoice discussions: Emotions are linked to the physical world; Adults can be a source of help and support; Negative emotions occur when things are not as they should be; and Safety is important for well-being. Practical implications and next steps for research are discussed.