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The importance of optimism in maintaining healthy aging in rural Alaska

TitleThe importance of optimism in maintaining healthy aging in rural Alaska
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2013
AuthorsLewis, JP
JournalQual Health ResQual Health Res
Volume23
Pagination1521-7
Date PublishedNov
ISBN Number1049-7323 (Print)<br/>1049-7323 (Linking)
Accession Number24122515
KeywordsAged, Aged, 80 and Over, Aging/ psychology, Alaska, Culture, Educational Status, Emotions, Female, Health Status, Humans, Indians, North American/ psychology, Interpersonal Relations, Interviews as Topic, Male, Middle Aged, Qualitative Research, Rural Population, Spirituality
AbstractMany Alaska Native Elders attended government-run boarding schools as children, were forbidden to speak their native language, and were forced to abandon their traditional subsistence lifestyle, yet they maintained an optimistic outlook on life and continued to age well. The Explanatory Model Interview Protocol was adapted to interview a purposive sample of Alaska Native Elders (n = 26) and grounded theory was used to develop a model of successful aging for Alaska Native Elders in Bristol Bay, Alaska. The theme of optimism was significant in the findings and was also found in each of the elements of successful aging, which were spirituality, emotional well-being, community engagement, and physical health. These four elements served as the foundation of the Model of Successful Aging. The Elders believed they were able to age successfully because they continued to be optimistic despite the challenges they faced (and are currently facing) in their communities.
Ethno Med: