Research projects

Evaluation of Indigenous Hip Hop projects

Principal Researchers

Professor Colleen Hayward

Institution

Kurongkurl Katitjin, Edith Cowan University

Funding

$49,358

Project completion year

2010

Project brief

Indigenous Hip Hop Projects (IHHP) is a team of hip hop and performing artists who work in Aboriginal communities around Australia.  IHHP has worked with beyondblue to raise awareness among Indigenous communities, especially young people and young adults, about depression and anxiety, and to promote active, healthy lifestyles.  This project determined the effectiveness and impact of IHHP on young people in selected sites in the Kimberley and Pilbara regions of Western Australia.  There were three stages, using a combination of qualitative methods including questionnaires, one-on-one interviews and focus groups.

  • Stage 1 measured the activities of IHHP, participant satisfaction and the immediate impact of IHHP’s key messages.
  • Stage 2 determined how well the messages were retained after four weeks and any changes of behaviour/service provision during this time.
  • Stage 3 examined the recall of key messages six months after an IHHP visit.

There were four main groups of interest: young participants aged 10 to 20 years, school administrators and teachers, community organisations and IHHP team members.

Key findings

Young people responded well to the health promotion messages of IHHP.  There was some recall of the messages relating to depression and self-respect – as well as the key messages of look, listen, talk and seek help – but no specific unprompted recall of discussion about depression/anxiety six months later.  Among young people, there was some understanding of what depression is, which was strongest in the week of the IHHP visit, but less familiarity with anxiety.  There was some awareness of some of the signs of depression.  Some young people were comfortable talking with friends or family during tough times, and some became more comfortable listening to others in difficult circumstances.  However, a large number remained uncomfortable with this.  Young people were comfortable seeking help and in most cases would turn to parents, a teacher or the police.  However, the majority was not aware of health services in their local area or thought them relevant for physical health only.

In relation to:

  • Participation of females and young people with special needs: positive feedback was received from all sites.
  • Working with schools: school personnel and young people expressed a high level of satisfaction with IHHP.
  • Sustainability: there may be a need to clearly define the duty of care of IHHP team members and to determine the level of support or training required to enable them to fulfil this duty.
  • Hip hop and culture: some parents and Elders were concerned over the use of hip hop as a medium. Teachers wanted a dictionary to help them understand some of the terminology.
  • Self-esteem: IHHP had a positive impact for young people with literacy problems, with music providing an opportunity to express how they felt about themselves and their towns.  The songs were played on local radio stations, copied to CD for students and parents, and played as ring tones on mobile phones, all of which benefitted self-esteem and general community standing.
  • Merchandise and branding: the IHHP wrist bands received very positive feedback and young people were still wearing them four weeks after the visit.

Implications for policy, practice and further research

IHHP provides positive experiences for young people, especially in remote communities where opportunities are limited.  It is appropriate for beyondblue to:

  • teach young people about depression and anxiety, how to use local support services and when to approach people in distress
  • build capacity to deal with stress and to help others when there are no local services or a reluctance to use them
  • develop an IHHP school kit to help teachers develop complementary activities
  • help provide equipment for IHHP
  • support a more intensive program
  • clearly define the duty of care of IHHP team members and provide appropriate training
  • continue to supply merchandise and consider ways to lessen the financial impact of this.
  • deliver programs as whole-week intensives
  • incorporate local stories, involve local young people, and continue close liaison with the local Indigenous communities
  • have at least one female team member
  • consult with schools about special needs students
  • consult with schools/service providers sufficiently in advance to enable them to obtain funding and develop complementary activities
  • provide advice on dress requirements
  • address any negative connotations of hip hop
  • ensure key messages and IHHP “rules” are consistent with protective behaviour programs
  • explain hip hop terminology to schools/service providers
  • use wrist bands but reduce the environmental impact of the wrapping and refine the messages for greater effect.

IHHP should:

  • deliver programs as whole-week intensives
  • incorporate local stories, involve local young people, and continue close liaison with the local Indigenous communities
  • have at least one female team member
  • consult with schools about special needs students
  • consult with schools/service providers sufficiently in advance to enable them to obtain funding and develop complementary activities
  • provide advice on dress requirements
  • address any negative connotations of hip hop
  • ensure key messages and IHHP “rules” are consistent with protective behaviour programs
  • explain hip hop terminology to schools/service providers
  • use wrist bands but reduce the environmental impact of the wrapping and refine the messages for greater effect.

Stay in touch with us

Sign up below for regular emails filled with information, advice and support for you or your loved ones.


All done! You should’ve received a confirmation email, so please check when you’re finished here and click the link in the email. If you can’t see it, we might be in your junk mail.

Subscribe failed. Please try later or contact us.