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Family health and parenting in an urban Inuit community

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Family health and parenting in an urban Inuit community

McShane, Kelly (2006) Family health and parenting in an urban Inuit community. PhD thesis, Concordia University.

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Abstract

There has been little research examining urban Inuit health, despite significant health disparities and indications that Inuit perspectives on health differ from mainstream perspectives. This collection of studies examined family health and parenting in an urban Inuit community and employed a participatory action research approach in partnership with the Tungasuvvingat Inuit Family Resource Centre. The first study examined health information processes through key informant interviews and focus groups. Five themes emerged: importance of visual learning, community Elders, and cultural interpreters; community cohesion; and an Inuit and non-Inuit distinction. The core sources of health information were family members and sources from within the Inuit community. The principal dissemination strategy for health information was one-on-one communication. Overall, results showed a community-specific perspective on health information. The second study developed and evaluated a health promotion tool tailored to the community's preferences articulated in Study 1. A CD-Rom presented an Inuk Elder delivering two messages on supporting mothers during pregnancy. Quantitative and qualitative measures were used to assess participants' expectations and reactions to elements of the CD-Rom. Quantitative analyses found increases in evaluation, medium, and content ratings. Qualitative findings included: (i) interest, uncertainty, and conditional interest prior to viewing; and (ii) positive evaluations of the CD-Rom (in particular of the Elder) and an interest in additional similar tools on parenting topics from a family-centered perspective. Taken together, results suggested that the tool is appropriate for this community and that Inuit health is family-based. The third study further examined urban Inuit parenting by using the autonomy-relatedness perspective from cultural psychology, in order to increase understanding of how parents support the well-being of their children. Major parenting themes obtained from interviews included: child characteristics, parenting behaviours and beliefs, affection and love, stressors, and responsive and respectful parenting. The majority of parenting themes linked to relatedness, although there was evidence of autonomy in both parenting behaviours and child characteristics. Overall, research findings emphasized the family perspective on health held by this Inuit community, and pointed to differences in health information structures and parenting as a result of living in an urban context. Implications for health research and health promotion are discussed.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > Psychology
Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
Authors:McShane, Kelly
Pagination:xiv, 200 leaves : ill. (some col.) ; 29 cm.
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:Ph. D.
Program:Psychology
Date:2006
Thesis Supervisor(s):Hastings, Paul
ID Code:9183
Deposited By:Concordia University Libraries
Deposited On:18 Aug 2011 14:46
Last Modified:18 Aug 2011 14:46
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