Alaska native successful ageing in Northwest Alaska: how family impacts how one ages in a good way

Zayla Asquith-Heinz, Steffi Kim, Jordan P. Lewis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


aged well, yet today they experience high rates of illness and lower access to care because of colonisation. Aand this research explores successful ageing from an AN perspective or what it means to achieve “Eldership” in the rural Northwest Alaska. A community-based participatory research approach was used to engage participants at every stage of the research process. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 16 AN men and 25 women and the interviews were professionally transcribed. Kleinman’s explanatory model served as the foundation of the questionnaire to gain a sense of the beliefs about ageing and guide the thematic analysis to establish an AN understanding of successful ageing. The foundation of the Norton Sound southern sub-region Model of Successful Ageing is the reciprocal relationship between Elders and family which enables Elders to access meaningful activities, including Native ways of life, physical health, spirituality, and emotional well-being. Community-based interventions should foster opportunities for Elders to share their Native way of life alongside family and community members, which will enable them to remain physically active, maintain healthy emotional well-being, continue engaging in spiritual practices, and contribute to the health and well-being of families.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number2147127
JournalInternational journal of circumpolar health
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
National Science Foundation, Arctic Social Sciences, # 1522744</#award-id; NSF

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.


  • Alaska Native
  • family
  • generativity
  • rural
  • successful aging

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.


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