Skip to content Skip to navigation

Spirituality: The Essence of Wellness Among Tongan and Samoan Elders

TitleSpirituality: The Essence of Wellness Among Tongan and Samoan Elders
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2011
AuthorsIhara, ES, Vakalahi, HFO
JournalJournal of Religion & Spirituality in Social WorkJournal of Religion & Spirituality in Social Work
Volume30
Pagination405-421
ISBN Number1542-6432
KeywordsAged, Aged, 80 and Over, Aging, Audiorecording, Culture, Data Analysis Software, Female, Funding Source, Grounded Theory, Hawaii, Human, Interviews, Male, Narratives, Polynesia, Samoa, Semi-Structured Interview, Social Attitudes, Spirituality -- In Old Age, Wellness -- Psychosocial Factors -- Polynesia
AbstractSpirituality is often ignored as a central component of wellness. According to Pacific cultural beliefs, spiritual harmony is necessary for wellness to emerge and is particularly salient for Pacific elders who are intergenerational connectors between the past, present, and future. Using principles of grounded theory for data collection and analysis of in-depth interviews with 10 Samoan and 10 Tongan elders in Hawai'i, two major themes emerged: meanings and expressions of spirituality and interdependence of culture, spirituality, and wellness. From a Pacific perspective, spirituality is central, and wellness does not exist without balance of the spirit, body, mind, and environment.