High Substance Abuse : Impact On Mental Health, And Internalized Oppression

2049 Words9 Pages
Tara Kahikina
There has been growing research in the realm of social implications for one of the major minority groups, Pacific Islanders. This paper examines an underlying correlate of high substance abuse, impact on mental health, and internalized oppression as the dissonance between modern day Islander culture and Western culture. The research intertwines how acculturation plays a role in this and how treatment toward well-being in this culture, differs from Western customs. For many young Pacific Islander Americans, and Hawaiian’s such as myself, there’s been a sense of limited information on the history and culture of my heritage. This has caused me consternation, as my culture and ethnic identity is important to me. My experience with my relatives reflect ambivalence to the many situations Hawaii people face. As a personal exemplar, my grandma, who is fully Hawaiian, becomes visibly upset and angry when she recounts her life experiences. This to me represents a culture identity conflict due to intrusion of Western Culture.

For the modern generation Polynesians, specifically Hawaiians, they have appeared to demonstrate abnormal physical and psychological deficits that may be explained by a propagated form of cultural wounding. The summarized research evaluates how Pacific Islanders, such as Native Hawaiians, are conflicted between their values from cultural and spiritual elements and the existential realities of life in Western Society.The extent of this
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