The native people of Alaska have experienced historical trauma and on-going rapid, often externally imposed changes in culture and lifestyle patterns. As a consequence, these populations shoulder a disproportionately high burden of psychological stress. Yup'ik communities in the Yukon Kuskokwim Delta region in Southwest Alaska have experienced epidemics and forced acculturation, contributing to behavioural health issues, including substance abuse and suicide. Cultural loss in Yup'ik communities has resulted in generational gaps that disrupt the transmission of cultural traditions and values important for well-being. Despite these intrusions, Yup'ik communities have retained cultural traditions which act as protective factors against the development of physical and psychological illness. These cultural protective factors can be harnessed to collaboratively develop culturally grounded interventions that reduce stress and build connections across generations, helping communities move towards wellness on their own terms.
International Journal of Circumpolar Health
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Co-Action Publishing. © 2013 Inna Rivkin et al.
Rivkin, I., Trimble, J.E., Lopez, E., Johnson, S., Orr, E., & Allen, J. (2013). Disseminating research in rural Yup’ik communities: Challenges and ethical considerations in moving from discovery to intervention development in the translational pathway. International Journal of Circumpolar Health, 72, 1-8.
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