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Collective Worldviews and Health of Pacific American Elders

TitleCollective Worldviews and Health of Pacific American Elders
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2012
AuthorsIhara, ES, Vakalahi, HFO
JournalEducational GerontologyEducational Gerontology
ISBN Number0360-1277
Accession NumberWOS:000303199900003
Keywordsacculturation scale
AbstractThe community as part of the social environment is a key social determinant of health and is a central organizing feature of Pacific culture. A collective worldview informs the way social support is conceived in Pacific cultures, and it is core to Samoan and Tongan elders' perceptions of the influence of community on health and well-being. In turn, inability to fulfill community responsibilities may be an indication of poor health and well-being and may be distressful because of this collective worldview. Using principles of grounded theory that informed the data collection and analysis, in-depth interviews were conducted with 10 Samoan and 10 Tongan elders in Hawai'i, the port of entry for most Pacific Americans migrating to the U. S. and the location where the majority of Samoans and Tongans reside. Four main themes-community norms, social functions of community, community capacity, and negative community influences-were identified as community factors affecting the health and well-being of Samoan and Tongan elders. Implications for research and policy practice are offered.