Authors

Krista Schafte

Senior Project Advisor

Sean Bruna

Document Type

Project

Publication Date

Spring 2022

Keywords

Intergenerational trauma, epigenetics, obesity, Indigenous, motherhood, healing, literature review

Abstract

This review examines the current literature on the interactions between intergenerational trauma, epigenetics, obesity, and Indigeneity. This literature review examines the results of six studies conducted in several cultural settings; the participants include Indigenous communities and students in Canada, cohorts in the UK, geneticists and scientists in Mexico, parents from Middle Eastern backgrounds, and families from Ukrainian backgrounds. The focus and findings of the selected studies varied from cultural to biological focuses, and from discussion regarding trauma, epigenetics, obesity, or Indigeneity, but they support three broad statements. First, they support that obesity has genetic and epigenetic factors. Second, intergenerational trauma is prevalent in Indigenous communities. Finally, intergenerational trauma has cultural and biological influences on obesity. One study investigated intergenerational trauma, epigenetics, obesity, and Indigeneity, while the rest of the selected studies focused on only two or three of the topics. Based on the results of this review, this research calls for additional research in epigenetics, lines of transmission, and obesity. This review also calls for continued studies regarding trauma, motherhood, and the connection between trauma, obesity, and epigenetics in Indigenous communities. Finally, frameworks of healing need continuous development, such as culturally relevant programs, parent workshops, and government initiatives.

Department

Anthropology

Subjects - Topical (LCSH)

Indigenous peoples--Health and hygiene; Intergenerational relations; Epigenetics; Obesity

Genre/Form

abstract note

Type

Text

Rights

Copying of this document in whole or in part is allowable only for scholarly purposes. It is understood, however, that any copying or publication of this document for commercial purposes, or for financial gain, shall not be allowed without the author’s written permission.

Language

English

Format

application/pdf

Available for download on Thursday, June 15, 2023

Included in

Anthropology Commons

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