Is resilience relevant to smoking abstinence for Indigenous Australians?
Ward, Paul Russell
Lawn, Sharon Joy
Winefield, Anthony H
Coveney, John David
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The prevalence rate of tobacco smoking remains high for Australian Indigenous people despite declining rates in other Australian populations. Given many Indigenous Australians continue to experience a range of social and economic structural problems, stress could be a significant contributing factor to preventing smoking abstinence. The reasons why some Indigenous people have remained resilient to stressful adverse conditions, and not rely on smoking to cope as a consequence, may provide important insights and lessons for health promotion policy and practice. In-depth interviews were employed to collect oral histories from 31 Indigenous adults who live in metropolitan Adelaide. Participants were recruited according to smoking status (non-smokers were compared to current smokers to gain a greater depth of understanding of how some participants have abstained from smoking). Perceived levels of stress were associated with encouraging smoking behaviour. Many participants reported having different stresses compared to non-Indigenous Australians, with some participants reporting having additional stressors such as constantly experiencing racism. Resilience often occurred when participants reported drawing upon internal psychological assets such as being motivated to quit and where external social support was available. These findings are discussed in relation to a recently developed psycho-social interactive model of resilience, and how this resilience model can be improved regarding the historical and cultural context of Indigenous Australians’ experience of smoking.
This article is under embargo for 12 months from the date of publication, in accordance with the publisher's policy. This is a pre-copyedited, author-produced PDF of an article accepted for publication in HEALTH PROMOTION INTERNATIONAL following peer review. The version of record [Tsourtos G, Ward P, Lawn S, Winefield A, Hersh D and Coveney J (2014) Is resilience relevant to smoking abstinence for Indigenous Australians? . Health Promotion International 30 (1): pp. 64-76] is available online at: http://heapro.oxfordjournals.org/content/30/1/64