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Keeping busy: a Yup'ik/Cup'ik perspective on health and aging

TitleKeeping busy: a Yup'ik/Cup'ik perspective on health and aging
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2007
AuthorsHopkins, SE, Kwachka, P, Lardon, C, Mohatt, GV
JournalInt J Circumpolar HealthInt J Circumpolar Health
Date PublishedFeb
ISBN Number1239-9736 (Print)<br/>1239-9736 (Linking)
Accession Number17451133
KeywordsActivities of Daily Living, Aged, Aged, 80 and Over, Aging/ psychology, Alaska, Cultural Characteristics, Female, Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice, Health Status, Humans, Interviews as Topic, Inuits/ ethnology, Middle Aged, Motor Activity, Psychophysiology
AbstractOBJECTIVES: Knowledge of cultural beliefs about health and how they influence life choices and intervention is essential in forming health policy and health promotion programs to meet the growing needs of aging minority populations. This study explores cultural beliefs and practices of health and well-being of Yup'ik/Cup'ik women in two rural villages in southwestern Alaska. STUDY DESIGN: Exploratory, descriptive qualitative study. METHODS: Interviews were conducted with 15 mid-life and older women to address two key research questions: 1) How do Yup'ik/Cup'ik women define health and wellbeing; and 2) What environmental, social, and cultural factors contribute to healthy aging? RESULTS: The women in this study define health aging within the framework of subsistence living-keeping busy, walking, eating subsistence foods, and respect for elders. These beliefs and practices promote a strong, active body and mind, vital components to healthy aging. CONCLUSIONS: While many health beliefs and practices appear very different from those current in research on aging, many commonalities and similarities emerge-concern for family, importance of physical activity and healthy diet. A significant finding of this study is that traditional Yup'ik/ Cup'ik ways of living parallel that of current research findings on what constitutes healthy aging in mainstream populations.
Ethno Med: