Contemporary American Indians and Alaska Natives (AIs/ANs) who live in urban areas today face the daunting task of navigating an urban landscape while maintaining the facets of their respective Native cultures. While AIs/ANs continue to grapple with the intergenerational trauma associated with forced assimilation, relocation movements, and boarding schools, these traumas have manifested themselves in elevated rates of psychopathology. AIs/ANs have elevated rates of domestic abuse, poverty, suicide, and substance misuse. Furthermore, AIs/ANs, like many other minority cultures often face discrimination in their everyday lives. In light of the aversive experiences they face, AI/AN people have followed the tenets of ritual and traditional healing to address imbalances in the body, mind, and spirit. For providers working with AI/AN clients, it is important to understand who is using traditional healing and why they are using alternative services. Secondary data analyses of survey data from 389 urban AIs/ANs were utilized in order to determine the relationship between experiences of discrimination and traditional healing use. Analyses indicated that experiences of discrimination in healthcare settings were significantly associated with participation in traditional healing. Analyses also indicated that nearly a quarter of the sample reported discrimination in a healthcare setting, roughly half of the sample had used traditional healing, and that the majority of those who had used traditional healing were women, and ages 35-44 (27%). This study calls attention to the socio-demographic factors implicated in traditional healing use by urban AI/AN people, in addition to the clinical and demographic characteristics of this sample.
Like other racial minority groups, multiracial people face discrimination as a function of their racial identity, and this discrimination represents a threat to psychological well-being. Following the Rejection-Identification Model (RIM; Branscombe, Schmitt, & Harvey, 1999), we argue that perceived discrimination will encourage multiracial people to identify more strongly with other multiracials, and that multiracial identification, in turn, fosters psychological well-being. Thus, multiracial identification is conceptualized as a coping response that reduces the overall costs of discrimination on well-being. This study is the first to test the RIM in a sample of multiracial people. Multiracial participants' perceptions of discrimination were negatively related to life satisfaction. Consistent with the RIM, perceived discrimination was positively related to three aspects of multiracial group identification: stereotyping the self as similar to other multiracial people, perceiving people within the multiracial category as more homogenous, and expressing solidarity with the multiracial category. Self-stereotyping was the only aspect of group identification that mediated a positive relationship between perceived discrimination and life satisfaction, suggesting that multiracial identification's protective properties rest in the fact that it provides an collective identity where one "fits."
Efforts are underway in many parts of the world to develop medical education curricula that address the health care issues of indigenous populations. The topic of stereotypes and their impact on such peoples' health, however, has received little attention. An examination of stereotypes will shed light on dominant cultural attitudes toward Aboriginal people that can affect quality of care and health outcomes in Aboriginal patients.
This study examines the views of undergraduate medical students regarding Canadian Aboriginal stereotypes and how they potentially affect Aboriginal people's health. The goal of this study was to gain insight into how medical learners perceive issues related to racism, discrimination and social stereotypes and to draw attention to gaps in Aboriginal health curricula.
This study involved a convenience sample of medical learners drawn from one undergraduate medical programme in western Canada. Using a semi-structured interview guide, we conducted a total of seven focus group interviews with 38 first- and second-year undergraduate medical students. Data were analysed using a thematic content analysis approach.
Medical students recognise that stereotypes are closely related to processes of racism and discrimination. However, they generally feel that stereotypes of Aboriginal people are rooted in reality. Students also identified medical school as one of the environments in which they are commonly exposed to negative views of Aboriginal people. Student responses suggest they see the cultural gap between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people as being both a cause and a consequence of discrimination against Aboriginal people.
The results of this study suggest that teaching medical students about the realities and impacts of stereotypes on Aboriginal peoples is a good starting point from which to address issues of racism and health inequities affecting the health of Aboriginal people.