A collaboration to inform the development of an Indigenous wellbeing instrument

Kahu McClintock, Malcolm King, Alexandra King, Michele Connolly, Kate Derry, Pat Dudgeon


Indigenous constructs of wellbeing and wellness vary greatly from the construct of mental health in the Western paradigm of health. Yet Western instruments, validated within Western populations, are often used to assess the wellbeing or mental health of Indigenous peoples. This is to the detriment of the health of Indigenous peoples. To support the decolonization of the psychology discipline and the psychometric validity of its measurements, it is necessary that Indigenous wellbeing measures are developed that are shaped around the worldviews, values, and aspirations of Indigenous peoples, rather than their Western counterparts. Specifically, Indigenous wellbeing measures must not only align to Indigenous cultural, social, economic, and environmental priorities, but the measurement design must also consider individual, family, tribal, and community needs. Data results should be openly accessed and utilized by Indigenous peoples to benefit the health of Indigenous peoples. Senior Indigenous researchers from Aotearoa (New Zealand), Australia, Canada, and United States of America, present a collaborative approach to inform the development of a global measure of Indigenous wellbeing.

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