Presentation Title

The relationship between Indigenous Cultural Connectedness and health among elders living on the Flathead Indian Reservation

Presentation Type

Oral Presentation

Category

STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics)

Abstract/Artist Statement

Research Gap. Strengths-based approaches to wellness among NA communities link increased cultural connectedness to protective health behaviors (King et al., 2019; Chandler et al., 2003; Garret et al., 2014), yet it is unclear how modern health behavior practices relate to this concept. An improved understanding of how current health behaviors related to cultural connectedness may inform strengths-based strategies to support healthy behaviors. Therefore, the research question addressed in the proposed research is, “How is cultural connectedness related to health behavior among NAs?” Methods. I will use qualitative methods and a theoretical framework to conduct a secondary analysis of interview data among NA older adults (ages 50 years and older) living on the Flathead American Indian Reservation (n=21). Interviews were conducted by the Growing Older Staying Strong research study team. Aim 1. Select a theoretical framework and analysis plan. I will conduct a comprehensive scientific literature review of cultural connectedness and health promotion among indigenous populations. I will select methods that align with expert guidance for public health research with NA populations. Aim 2. Apply the theoretical framework and perform analysis. Aim 3. Disseminate findings. I will prioritize local community dissemination activities and scientific products. This will include presentations at local tribal council and culture committee meetings. I will also develop one scientific abstract at a national conference, and one manuscript for peer review and publication. Results. Findings from this research project will include themes arising from the voices and experiences of NA older adults, describing cultural connectedness in relation to current PA practices. Themes may be used to generate new hypotheses and may inform strategies for supporting cultural connectedness while increasing health behaviors through public health interventions. Impact Statement. As a Native American graduate student in public health, the proposed research project will provide me with an excellent opportunity for training and research experience. Activities included in this proposal are designed to increase my knowledge in theoretical approaches in my field of interest, improve my skill in qualitative methods, and gain confidence in community and scientific dissemination. Upon completion of this research, I will have identified ways in which cultural connectedness relates to health behaviors, contribute to a growing foundation of strengths-based approaches for health promotion among NA communities, and laying a pathway for my future research directions.

Mentor Name

Maja Pedersen

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The relationship between Indigenous Cultural Connectedness and health among elders living on the Flathead Indian Reservation

Research Gap. Strengths-based approaches to wellness among NA communities link increased cultural connectedness to protective health behaviors (King et al., 2019; Chandler et al., 2003; Garret et al., 2014), yet it is unclear how modern health behavior practices relate to this concept. An improved understanding of how current health behaviors related to cultural connectedness may inform strengths-based strategies to support healthy behaviors. Therefore, the research question addressed in the proposed research is, “How is cultural connectedness related to health behavior among NAs?” Methods. I will use qualitative methods and a theoretical framework to conduct a secondary analysis of interview data among NA older adults (ages 50 years and older) living on the Flathead American Indian Reservation (n=21). Interviews were conducted by the Growing Older Staying Strong research study team. Aim 1. Select a theoretical framework and analysis plan. I will conduct a comprehensive scientific literature review of cultural connectedness and health promotion among indigenous populations. I will select methods that align with expert guidance for public health research with NA populations. Aim 2. Apply the theoretical framework and perform analysis. Aim 3. Disseminate findings. I will prioritize local community dissemination activities and scientific products. This will include presentations at local tribal council and culture committee meetings. I will also develop one scientific abstract at a national conference, and one manuscript for peer review and publication. Results. Findings from this research project will include themes arising from the voices and experiences of NA older adults, describing cultural connectedness in relation to current PA practices. Themes may be used to generate new hypotheses and may inform strategies for supporting cultural connectedness while increasing health behaviors through public health interventions. Impact Statement. As a Native American graduate student in public health, the proposed research project will provide me with an excellent opportunity for training and research experience. Activities included in this proposal are designed to increase my knowledge in theoretical approaches in my field of interest, improve my skill in qualitative methods, and gain confidence in community and scientific dissemination. Upon completion of this research, I will have identified ways in which cultural connectedness relates to health behaviors, contribute to a growing foundation of strengths-based approaches for health promotion among NA communities, and laying a pathway for my future research directions.