October 15, 2010

Cultural Identity and Conceptualization of Depression among Native Hawaiian Women

Van M. Ta, Puihan J. Chao, and Joseph Keawe‘aimoku Kaholokula

AAPI Nexus Journal: Policy, Practice, and Community

This study seeks to understand how Native Hawaiian (NH) women identified themselves culturally and conceptualized the causes of depression, and whether there was an association between these two constructs. Among the thirty NH women who were interviewed, a quarter had a high degree of depression symptoms, and a majority expressed a strong/shared identification/affinity with their culture. Our findings suggest that social stressors that contribute to the depressive symptoms of NH women could be, in part, linked to acculturation-related factors associated with U.S. occupation of Hawai‘i and their social status as native people. Future research should examine this relationship further.

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