The meaning of death to adolescents in an American Indian community

D. C. Grossman, R. W. Putsch, Thomas Inui

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

8 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: A high rate of premature death exists among young Native Americans in North America. To understand the qualitative effect of this phenomenon, we undertook this study to explore the meaning of death to adolescents in a Salish American Indian community. Methods: Standard methods of ethnography were employed: community entry, open-ended indepth interviews using key informant sampling, audiotape and field note transcription, review of field notes for key themes, and community feedback. Interviews were conducted with seven elders and 21 adolescents in a Pacific Northwestern American Indian community selected by key informants. Probe questions and narrative accounts primarily focused on personal experience with premature death among family and peers. Results: The primary themes in the study were the subjects' personal exposure to death, alcohol and drugs, Spirit Sickness (a culturally defined illness experience), and healing. Conclusions: There are persistent beliefs in Spirit Sickness among adolescents and young adults in the Salish Indian community. Personal exposure to death is a precipitant of this potentially fatal illness experience. Clinicians working with Salish Native Americans should recognize potential beliefs in this illness experience among the youths.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)593-597
Number of pages5
JournalFamily Medicine
Volume25
Issue number9
StatePublished - 1993
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

North American Indians
Premature Mortality
Interviews
Cultural Anthropology
Tape Recording
North America
Young Adult
Alcohols
Pharmaceutical Preparations

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

Cite this

The meaning of death to adolescents in an American Indian community. / Grossman, D. C.; Putsch, R. W.; Inui, Thomas.

In: Family Medicine, Vol. 25, No. 9, 1993, p. 593-597.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Grossman, DC, Putsch, RW & Inui, T 1993, 'The meaning of death to adolescents in an American Indian community', Family Medicine, vol. 25, no. 9, pp. 593-597.
Grossman, D. C. ; Putsch, R. W. ; Inui, Thomas. / The meaning of death to adolescents in an American Indian community. In: Family Medicine. 1993 ; Vol. 25, No. 9. pp. 593-597.
@article{24ea2397fa80469c9d3b7fe32f0553e4,
title = "The meaning of death to adolescents in an American Indian community",
abstract = "Background: A high rate of premature death exists among young Native Americans in North America. To understand the qualitative effect of this phenomenon, we undertook this study to explore the meaning of death to adolescents in a Salish American Indian community. Methods: Standard methods of ethnography were employed: community entry, open-ended indepth interviews using key informant sampling, audiotape and field note transcription, review of field notes for key themes, and community feedback. Interviews were conducted with seven elders and 21 adolescents in a Pacific Northwestern American Indian community selected by key informants. Probe questions and narrative accounts primarily focused on personal experience with premature death among family and peers. Results: The primary themes in the study were the subjects' personal exposure to death, alcohol and drugs, Spirit Sickness (a culturally defined illness experience), and healing. Conclusions: There are persistent beliefs in Spirit Sickness among adolescents and young adults in the Salish Indian community. Personal exposure to death is a precipitant of this potentially fatal illness experience. Clinicians working with Salish Native Americans should recognize potential beliefs in this illness experience among the youths.",
author = "Grossman, {D. C.} and Putsch, {R. W.} and Thomas Inui",
year = "1993",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "25",
pages = "593--597",
journal = "Family Medicine",
issn = "0742-3225",
publisher = "Society of Teachers of Family Medicine",
number = "9",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - The meaning of death to adolescents in an American Indian community

AU - Grossman, D. C.

AU - Putsch, R. W.

AU - Inui, Thomas

PY - 1993

Y1 - 1993

N2 - Background: A high rate of premature death exists among young Native Americans in North America. To understand the qualitative effect of this phenomenon, we undertook this study to explore the meaning of death to adolescents in a Salish American Indian community. Methods: Standard methods of ethnography were employed: community entry, open-ended indepth interviews using key informant sampling, audiotape and field note transcription, review of field notes for key themes, and community feedback. Interviews were conducted with seven elders and 21 adolescents in a Pacific Northwestern American Indian community selected by key informants. Probe questions and narrative accounts primarily focused on personal experience with premature death among family and peers. Results: The primary themes in the study were the subjects' personal exposure to death, alcohol and drugs, Spirit Sickness (a culturally defined illness experience), and healing. Conclusions: There are persistent beliefs in Spirit Sickness among adolescents and young adults in the Salish Indian community. Personal exposure to death is a precipitant of this potentially fatal illness experience. Clinicians working with Salish Native Americans should recognize potential beliefs in this illness experience among the youths.

AB - Background: A high rate of premature death exists among young Native Americans in North America. To understand the qualitative effect of this phenomenon, we undertook this study to explore the meaning of death to adolescents in a Salish American Indian community. Methods: Standard methods of ethnography were employed: community entry, open-ended indepth interviews using key informant sampling, audiotape and field note transcription, review of field notes for key themes, and community feedback. Interviews were conducted with seven elders and 21 adolescents in a Pacific Northwestern American Indian community selected by key informants. Probe questions and narrative accounts primarily focused on personal experience with premature death among family and peers. Results: The primary themes in the study were the subjects' personal exposure to death, alcohol and drugs, Spirit Sickness (a culturally defined illness experience), and healing. Conclusions: There are persistent beliefs in Spirit Sickness among adolescents and young adults in the Salish Indian community. Personal exposure to death is a precipitant of this potentially fatal illness experience. Clinicians working with Salish Native Americans should recognize potential beliefs in this illness experience among the youths.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=0027445498&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=0027445498&partnerID=8YFLogxK

M3 - Article

C2 - 8243908

AN - SCOPUS:0027445498

VL - 25

SP - 593

EP - 597

JO - Family Medicine

JF - Family Medicine

SN - 0742-3225

IS - 9

ER -