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Understanding the Experiences and Needs of Māori with Eating Disorders

24 months
Approved budget:
Miss Bailey Rose
Associate Professor Clive Aspin
Professor Marc Wilson
Health issue:
Mental health (and sleep disorders)
Proposal type:
Māori Health PhD Scholarship
Lay summary
Eating disorder research has long been dominated by Western, Educated, Industrialised, Rich, and Democratic (WEIRD) populations. The same pattern is reflected within Aotearoa, as there is a paucity of research that has sought to understand eating disorders among Māori, the tangata whenua (people of the land). Despite this, there is a growing recognition that eating disorders can affect anyone – regardless of ethnicity, culture, or economic position. Due to the dominance of WEIRD populations within eating disorder research, our current understanding of these disorders is construed from a Western perspective. This is problematic as it overlooks a Māori worldview, and fails to recognise other ways of knowing and experiencing these disorders. Using a Kaupapa Māori research approach, my research aims to explore the experiences and needs of Māori affected by eating disorders. In doing so, this research will facilitate an improved understanding of these disorders for Māori.