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Health psychology has evolved over the last 30 years and is considered one of the most burgeoning fields in contemporary academic psychology (Kaplan, 2009, p. This position is based on numerous studies that support the finding of a healthy immigrant effect, which concludes that immigrants' health is generally better than that of Canadian-born population pre- and post-migration; however, their health tends to decline after approximately 5–10 years in Canada (Ng, 2011, p. Over the years, much of the work on cultural identity has been explored by theorists in the United States (U. Although majority of the research on cultural identity has been completed in the U. Delivering Race Equality in Mental Health Care: An Action Plan for Reform Inside and Outside Services. S.) who have studied the social constructs of race and related identities in the pan-ethnic collective of people ascribed the racial designation of African-American (Cross et al., 1991, pp. S., there is sparsity of conceptual work that examines cultural identity reconstruction among African-Caribbean immigrants in the field of health psychology. Available online at: ACH/resources/keypaper4Google Scholar Dixon, S. “The relevance of spirituality to cultural identity reconstruction for African-Caribbean immigrant women,” in Counseling in Cultural Context - Identity and Social Justice, ed N.
This article concludes with culturally-informed and socially-just recommendations for health care professionals working with immigrant populations, particularly African Caribbean immigrant women. doi: 10.1016/S0749-3797(99)00094-X Pub Med Abstract | Cross Ref Full Text | Google Scholar Erving, C.
The Caribbean has one of the largest diasporas in the world in proportion to its growing population.
The word reconstruction is used in this context because it reflects the lived experiences of African-Caribbean immigrants across the diasporas who undergo a process of reformation in their cultural identity post-migration (Hall, 1997a,b). 72), conceptual frameworks may either hinder or facilitate individuals' understanding of the behaviors or experiences that occur in their lives and the lives of others. “The stages of Black identity development: Nigrescence models,” in Black Psychology, ed R. Arthur (New York, NY: Springer Science Business Media Publishing), 249–270.
This reconstruction process is complex and multidimensional, and is often ignored in health psychology discourse (Gore and Kothari, 2012, pp. By definition, cultural identity is viewed as a multi-layered construct that represents “those aspects of our identities which arise from our ‘belonging' to distinctive ethic, racial, linguistic, religious, and above all, national cultures” (Hall, 1992, p. Building on this definition, cultural identity reconstruction is adopted from the theoretical framework of social constructionism (Gergen, 1999, pp. It reflects a part of the ongoing development of identity that is complex and fluid (Arthur and Collins, 2010, pp. This idea of reconstruction recognizes adaptation and negotiation within socio-cultural contexts where language plays a key role. The above authors reason that change in conceptual frameworks provides new perspectives for understanding behaviors and experiences (Jackson and Meadows, 1991, p. Therefore, key models of cultural identity reconstruction that relate to the experiences of non-dominant immigrants must both offer theoretical and empirical solutions for health behaviors and access to health care (Sarafino et al., 2015). doi: 10.1007/978-3-030-00090-5_11 Cross Ref Full Text | Google Scholar Dixon, S., and Arthur, N. Creating space to engage Black Pentecostal clients in multicultural counselling practices.
Next, the paper will address salient dimensions of cultural identity, namely race, ethnicity, class, gender, socio-economic status, and religion/spirituality, and how these aspects of identities intersect to reconstruct new meanings for African-Caribbean immigrant women. A key critique of the biomedical model is that it utilizes a downstream approach to health in how individuals are symptomized, assessed, diagnosed, and treated (Meile, 2013, para: 1–10; Raphael, 2016, p. In other words, this approach refers to mostly individualistic factors such as genetics and medical conditions in health care and medical treatment planning (Merjudio, 2016, para: 3–5; National Collaborating Centre for Determinants of Health., n.d.). As such, Canada's health policy should consider adapting a holistic approach that values the spiritual and religious dimensions of many individuals, which are core aspects of their cultural identities. Available online at: https://cjc-rcc.ucalgary.ca/article/view/61226/pdf Google Scholar Edge, D. ' We don't see Black women here': an exploration of the absence of Black Caribbean women from clinical and epidemiological data on perinatal depression in the UK. doi: 10.1016/20 Pub Med Abstract | Cross Ref Full Text | Google Scholar Edge, D.
Examination of these dimensions lead the author to advocate for a holistic critical health psychology model that considers the intersectionality of religion, race, and gender in the cultural identity reconstruction process for African-Caribbean immigrant women. Additionally, health and well-being consider a positive state of physical, mental and social functioning that vary over time along a continuum and not simply the absence of injury or disease (Sarafino et al., 2015, p. The discipline of health psychology is making significant contributions to the prevention and treatment of chronic illness and focuses on the interface between biology, behavior, and social contexts (Taylor and Sirois, 2014, p. Health psychology also overlaps with the related field of behavioral medicine, which emphasizes the interactions of behavior with biology and the environment, and the application of that knowledge to improve the health and well-being of individuals, families, communities, and populations (Kaplan, 2009, p. From a broader perspective, both the Health Psychology Divisions in the Canadian Psychological Association and the American Psychological Association have gained momentum in recent years by conducting evidence-based and community-based research that explores the behavioral components and risk factors for disease prevention and health promotion in the North American health care system (Sarafino et al., 2015, p. Further, the Divisions of Health Psychology of the British Psychological Society and the European Health Psychology Society are also thriving (Kaplan, 2009, p. Using a health psychology lens, the general goals of these Divisions are four-fold: (1) to promote and maintain health; (2) to prevent and treat illness; (3) to identify the causes and diagnostic correlates of health, illness, and related dysfunction; and (4) to analyse and improve health care systems and health policy (Sarafino et al., 2015, pp. Arguably, these goals are relevant and require further examination to fully understand the precedents of health and health behaviors relative to the experiences of such groups like African-Caribbean immigrant women whose well-being plays a critical role in their overall functioning (Gurung, 2010, p. Within the Canadian context, health, and wellness are traditionally viewed through a biomedical model, which can be characterized as a disease management system that tends to provide a narrow and universal perspective on health and health care (Taylor and Sirois, 2014, p. In contrast, many health care professionals are advocating for a biopsychosocial model that conceptualizes health care delivery from an upstream approach (Salami et al., 2017, p. Such approach takes into consideration interventions aimed at examining the root causes of population health problems and illnesses such as social, behavioral, economic and environmental conditions (Australian Medical Association, 2007; Public Health Agency of Canada, 2016). It is well-documented that faith is closely tied to life satisfaction among many non-dominant cultural groups like people of African and Caribbean descent who are a demographically, religiously, linguistically, and culturally complex and diverse populations (Nestel, 2012, p. Adopting a population health policy framework, Health Canada has highlighted 11 determinants of health: income and social status, employment and working conditions, education and literacy, physical environments, social support and coping skills, healthy behaviors, access to health services, biology and genetic endowment, gender, and culture (Government of Canada, 2018). Therefore, the migration experience warrants a system of support and community care, which is emphasized by a holistic upstream approach to health (Hegar, 2016; Public Health Agency of Canada, 2016).
Since the 1980s, a growing number of Black scholars have challenged the hegemony and normalization of Eurocentric theories of identity development (e.g., Asante, 1988; Mazama, 2001, p. This paradigm shift has led to the development of the Afrocentric model (Randolph and Banks, 1993, pp. Secondly, communalism defines the idea that the group or collective outweighs the individual.
It emphasizes the need for one to integrate one's goal with the greater community.
The next dimension, harmony and balance, is the belief that human beings are an integral aspect of nature, as well as that all elements of life are connected and must be in balance.
Time as a social phenomenon is another dimension that emphasizes that time is not its own entity, but it exists because of social interactions.