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Associations of Historical Loss, Resilience, and Coping with Loss-related Emotional Symptoms in the Anishinaabe

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Objectives: Native Americans have higher rates of mental health symptoms and chronic disease compared to the general population, partly due to historical loss (eg, land, language, culture). Few studies have examined strength-based characteristics that enable Native populations to cope with loss and reduce loss-related emotional symptoms (eg, anxiety, anger). Methods: We recruited 81 participants (mean age 47.9 years; 61% female) in a midwestern Anishinaabe community using convenience sampling. Participants completed questionnaires assessing historical loss, loss-related emotional symptoms, psychological resilience, and maladaptive and adaptive coping strategies. Hierarchical regression analyses examined associations of historical loss, psychological resilience, and coping strategies with loss-related emotional symptoms after controlling for demographics. Results: Historical loss ( β = .56, p < .001) and maladaptive coping strategies ( β = .23, p < .05) were positively associated with loss-related symptoms among Anishinaabe community members; psychological resilience was inversely associated with loss-related symptoms ( β = -.21, p < .05). Adaptive coping strategies ( β = .02, p > .05) were not associated with loss-related symptoms. Conclusions: Findings suggest that historical loss is associated with loss-related emotional symptoms in the Anishinaabe population. Public health programs that foster psychological resilience and reduce maladaptive coping strategies are needed to address these loss-related symptoms.
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Keywords: COPING STRATEGIES; EMOTIONAL SYMPTOMS; HISTORICAL LOSS; NATIVE AMERICANS; RESILIENCE

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Indigenous Health Educator, The Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians, Sault Ste. Marie, MI 2: Department of Kinesiology & Health Education, The University of Texas, Austin, TX 3: Postdoctoral Scholar, Department of Psychiatry, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA 4: Department of Kinesiology & Health Education, The University of Texas, Austin, TX., Email: [email protected]

Publication date: March 1, 2020

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  • The American Journal of Health Behavior seeks to improve the quality of life through multidisciplinary health efforts in fostering a better understanding of the multidimensional nature of both individuals and social systems as they relate to health behaviors.

    The Journal aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of the impact of personal attributes, personality characteristics, behavior patterns, social structure, and processes on health maintenance, health restoration, and health improvement; to disseminate knowledge of holistic, multidisciplinary approaches to designing and implementing effective health programs; and to showcase health behavior analysis skills that have been proven to affect health improvement and recovery.

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