Exploring cultural identity and mental wellbeing in young multi-ethnic Cook Islands peoples

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dc.contributor.advisor Tiatia-Seath, J en
dc.contributor.author Minster, Joanna en
dc.date.accessioned 2018-11-05T21:14:21Z en
dc.date.issued 2018 en
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/2292/43948 en
dc.description Full text is available to authenticated members of The University of Auckland only. en
dc.description.abstract There is growing interest and acknowledgement of the relationship between cultural identity and mental wellbeing in Pacific peoples. Research efforts have predominantly focused on understanding how identity influences mental health in NZ-born Pacific peoples. Few studies have explored the experiences of multiethnic Pacific peoples and these have all been with Samoans. This study aimed to explore how young multi-ethnic Cook Islands peoples experience their cultural identities in relation to mental wellbeing. Cultural identity was examined in the context of cultural resilience by conceptualising it as a resource that young multi-ethnic Cook Islanders might use to overcome challenges associated with being multi-ethnic. Key objectives were to: identify the challenges young multiethnic Cook Islanders encountered when developing their cultural identities; explore their views on Cook Islands culture change in New Zealand; and understand how they believe cultural identity impacts mental wellbeing. This qualitative study involved interviews with eight young multi-ethnic Cook Islands youth (aged 18-30 years). Interviews were semi-structured and processes were guided by Talanoa research methods and Pacific Health Research Guidelines from the Health Research Council of New Zealand. A grounded theory approach was used for data collection and analysis. Participants described challenging experiences where others contested their claims of being Cook Islanders. Experiences of discrimination and exclusion were common. These challenges were confusing and reduced their sense of belonging in Pacific spaces. Strengthening cultural knowledge and skills helped counteract these challenges. Participants described minimal involvement with the culture as children, limited passing down of cultural traditions and knowledges, and extended family disconnections created through migrations to New Zealand. These circumstances reduced opportunities for young Cook Islanders to learn their cultural heritage. Participants believed cultural identity enhanced mental wellbeing by keeping them grounded and connected, providing a sense of belonging, and building their confidence to withstand challenges to their identities from others. Cultural knowledge, skills and language were viewed as important aspects of cultural identity. This study contributes to the Pacific literature describing cultural identity as an important protective resource for young Pacific peoples' wellbeing. The recommendations and findings may inform mental health promotion initiatives that support young multi-ethnic Cook Islanders to claim their place of belonging in Pacific communities. en
dc.publisher ResearchSpace@Auckland en
dc.relation.ispartof Masters Thesis - University of Auckland en
dc.relation.isreferencedby UoA99265084313702091 en
dc.rights Items in ResearchSpace are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated. Previously published items are made available in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. en
dc.rights Restricted Item. Available to authenticated members of The University of Auckland. en
dc.rights.uri https://researchspace.auckland.ac.nz/docs/uoa-docs/rights.htm en
dc.rights.uri http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/nz/ en
dc.title Exploring cultural identity and mental wellbeing in young multi-ethnic Cook Islands peoples en
dc.type Thesis en
thesis.degree.discipline Public Health en
thesis.degree.grantor The University of Auckland en
thesis.degree.level Masters en
dc.rights.holder Copyright: The author en
pubs.elements-id 755705 en
pubs.record-created-at-source-date 2018-11-06 en

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