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Juliet Boon-Nanai Sandra Thaggard El-Shadan Tautolo


Introduction Cultural paradigms are emerging as the appropriate way to examine Samoans’ life experiences. In this study, it proposes to employ the fonofale model to explore and examine the notion of abuse among Pacific elders main from a Samoan lens.

Methodology In framing this study, the talanoa approach was deemed culturally appropriate. Twelve Samoan tagata matutua (elderly people) were asked to talanoa (discuss) their experiences of what abuse means to them.

Findings suggest that, initially, abuse of Samoan elders was at first contested. That it is not the fa’asamoa(Samoan way). However, as the talanoa gathered mafana (warmth) and malie (maintained good social relationships), most agreed that physical abuse was uncommon within an aiga (familial) context, but other forms of abuse were apparent.

Conclusion For these tagata matutua, six different forms of abuse were identified; with particular emphasis on cultural and spiritual abuse. Following the fonofale paradigm, which reflects the Samoan worldview, this article informs the perception of spiritual abuse for Samoan elders and is relevant within the wider Pacific context.

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Original Research

How to Cite

E le sauaina tatou tagata matutua: Re-examining abuse through cultural lens of the fonofale model. (2021). Pacific Health Dialog, 21(7), 407-414.