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Faith to bounce back! Pacific youth wellbeing and resilience

28 months
Approved budget:
Miss Hulita Tauveli
Associate Professor Siautu Alefaio
Professor Catherine Morgan
Health issue:
Mental health (and sleep disorders)
Proposal type:
Pacific Health PhD Scholarship
Lay summary
Pacific youth in Aotearoa, New Zealand are still largely connected to church as communities grounded in faith. Statistically and nationally, 7 out of 10 Pacific peoples have some Christian affiliation. This serves as a foundation to suggest faith matters for Pacific youth, especially in dealing with life’s challenges. Anecdotally, for many Pacific youth, faith is encouraged through prayer, Bible reading and youth programmes. It is often referred to as a means for overcoming difficult and challenging situations, such as mental distress, anxiety and depression. This research examines faith’s impact on Pacific youth through (1) talanoa (Pacific cultural dialogue) with youth in Tongan-indigenous churches (2) analysing data (videography and questionnaires) of innovative-cultural interventions: YFP (Young Free & Pasifika) and YFW (Young Pacific Warriors), developed by Affirming Works Pacific youth agency. This study will capture the perceptions, stories and overall impact of faith as a tool for wellbeing and resilience for Pacific youth.