Multicultural Perspectives on Health and Wellbeing/Religion, spirituality and informal healthcare

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Religion and spirituality can provide protection from stress associated to illness and can also be a means of coping and social support. In this lecture the area of religion, spirituality and informal healthcare will be discussed. Examples from research that Maria has undertaken will be presented to highlight the role of religion, culture, tradition and history in forming conceptualizations of health among three generations (immigrant, 1st and 2nd generation) of Greek Australian women in Melbourne. For the immigrant generation cultural maintenance was of great importance and maintaining the Greek way (culture, religion, food and language) was vital. This was achieved through sharing their culture with their families by continuing and sharing the traditions and customs they had in Greece with their descendants.


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  1. Avgoulas, M and Fanany, R (2012) "Cultural Understanding of Health and Adjustment to Cardiovascular Disease among the Greek Elderly". The International Journal of Aging and Society. 1(4): 61-74.
  2. Mechanic, D. (1992). Health and illness behavior and patient-practitioner relationships. Social Science & Medicine (1982), 34(12), 1345-1350.
  3. Pargament, K. I. (1997). The Psychology of Religion and Coping: Theory, Research, Practice. Guilford Press.


  1. Ikaria - Island of Youth
  2. Ikaria - Island of Longevity


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Notes and Recordings

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  1. Lecture notes: Religion, spirituality and informal healthcare