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Exploring cultural variables affecting sport and physical activity behaviours of Karen refugees in Australia : applying a culturally specific approach to active lifestyles

O'Driscoll, Tea (2016) Exploring cultural variables affecting sport and physical activity behaviours of Karen refugees in Australia : applying a culturally specific approach to active lifestyles. PhD thesis, Victoria University.

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Abstract

Culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) communities; refugees in particular, have complex health concerns and may be at increased risks of developing lifestyle diseases such as type II diabetes. Yet, in Australia, these groups are not participating in the recommended amount of regular sport and physical activity (PA) to obtain important health benefits. Researchers have suggested that this may be due to various factors, some of which are synonymous with the general population (e.g., cost, time). However, the influence of cultural variables and the process of resettlement on refugees’ participation in sport and PA in Australia is relatively unexplored. This project aims to investigate such variables amongst recently arrived Karen refugees, whose cultural and ethnic background is distant from traditional Australian’s backgrounds. The Karen have been arriving to Australia in significant numbers over the last few years, and thus local service providers commonly work with the group. In-depth interviews, PA diaries and a family PA intervention were undertaken as part of this PhD project. The thesis argues that cultural background and the process of acculturation in a culturally distant country significantly impact on PA participation for the Karen. Concepts of identity, values, and differences in lifestyles between ‘back home’ and Australia are important considerations for service providers working with the Karen. The culturally specific PA pilot program was implemented effectively, suggesting that participation may be encouraged in this group through similar programs, if they are appropriate and meaningful for the participants. This PhD project suggests that obtaining an in-depth understanding of a target group’s culture and social context is important in developing and implementing effective culturally specific PA programs for CALD communities.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD thesis)
Uncontrolled Keywords: health, family, culture, ethnography, sports, physical activities
Subjects: FOR Classification > 1117 Public Health and Health Services
FOR Classification > 1608 Sociology
Faculty/School/Research Centre/Department > College of Sports and Exercise Science
Depositing User: VU Library
Date Deposited: 06 Apr 2017 02:45
Last Modified: 10 Apr 2017 06:49
URI: http://vuir.vu.edu.au/id/eprint/33040
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