Method of dealing with stressful situations

Heritage Assessment

Click http://wps.prenhall./wps/media/objects/663/679611/box_6_1.pdf order access “Heritage Assessment Tool.” Assess Heritage Assessment Tool answering questions. In 1,000-1,500 words discuss usefulness applying a heritage assessment evaluating person, summarize learned Heritage Assessment Tool.

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Heritage assessment tool

The heritage assessment tool acknowledges the different degrees of impact an individual’s ethnic heritage may have upon his or her worldview. For some individuals who are very emotionally connected to their family and extended family, their sense of self is defined by their religion, customs and beliefs as they relate to a larger tradition. For example, someone who is Hispanic-American may spend a great deal of time not only with his or her nuclear family, but also with an extended network of cousins, grandparents, and even friends of the family. Even if not particularly religious, the rituals of the Catholic Church might provide a source of joy during traditional holidays and a source of comfort during times of stress. Foods, songs, and folklore are transmitted through institutional and familial channels. Speaking the language of one’s ancestors and having a wide circle of friends of similar ethnic heritage reinforces these traditional values.

However, in my case, I do not identify strongly with a specific community. I am close to my friends and immediate family but both groups are far too diverse to be characterized by a single label. My family is not particularly religious and we do not go to church regularly. Also, my spirituality is not connected to my sense of ethnic heritage, as it is, for example, for some of my non-religious Jewish friends who still observe the holidays because they consider themselves culturally Jewish. I do not consider myself ‘culturally Christian.’ Although my family celebrates Christmas and Easter, it is in a very secular way. The menu is traditional (turkey, stuffing, gravy) with no ‘special’ foods and there is no second language other than English which dominates in the household. Many of my friends are of different ethnicities, races, and religions and I enjoy visiting their homes and participating in their traditions. Sometimes I regret not having a stronger sense of faith and place. On the other hand, I feel this gives me a very open-minded and flexible attitude towards life. I can pick and choose what items resonate with me from the different cultures to which I am exposed.

Three families: Health maintenance, health protection, health restoration

I would describe the attitude of my own family regarding health maintenance, health protection, and health restoration as relatively conventional. As a child, I received the standard vaccinations and went to the doctor regularly. Both of my parents go for regular check-ups and health screenings, as recommended for their ages. I was told to get enough sleep, to eat my vegetables, and not to eat too many sweets. I was told not to watch too much TV because it would ruin my eyes and my brain. If I had a cold, I was instructed to cover my mouth and nose when I sneezed, not to spread germs. My parents are fairly uncritical about the advice doctors give them and when sick they usually use some form of modern medicine (antibiotics or over-the-counter cold medication). If they do use non-traditional medicine, it tends to be relatively standard as well, such as chicken soup for a stuffy nose.

A friend of mine is Chinese-American, and while his parents were born in this country and are largely assimilated, his grandparents observe some health-related practices that I have never seen outside of a Chinese context. For example, his grandmother practices ‘cupping,’ or putting cups on the skin to relieve congestion. His parents also mentioned how they were afraid of saying they were sick when they were growing up because the grandparents would always brew some foul-smelling tea as a remedy. Although my friend’s parents consider themselves modern, they have sought out acupuncture for relief of chronic back pain and the mother regularly practices yoga, a physical form of exercise that incorporates many ideas harmonious with Chinese medicine, such as the balance of opposing energies and the need to relax and meditate as a method of dealing with stressful situations.

I know that this Chinese-American family’s respect for elders in terms of the advice they can give regarding health is also very important. Of course, my grandparents often took care of me when I was sick as a young child but my Chinese-American friend was often placed in the ‘care’ of his grandmother and her wisdom in the arena of health was trusted on the level of a doctor for minor complaints. However, for any major illnesses like a very high fever, he said he was always taken to the doctor for treatment with conventional medicine. His grandparents do tend to be very reluctant to go to doctors and often try to self-medicate with herbs, rest, and Tai Chi before eventually capitulating and going to the doctor.

Exercise and fresh air were always emphasized in his household, along with healthy eating. Although not specifically lectured about his food intake, he did note that sweets were seldom served, and if they were, they tended to be fruit rather than heavy desserts. Dairy products are also fairly rare in his household, although a mix of Chinese and American dishes are served at mealtimes.

Another friend of mine comes from a Mexican-American family. The advice of older relatives, particularly her maternal grandmother, was very important in her upbringing, including matters related to health. Like my Chinese-American friend, herbal teas and chest rubs were often applied to her when she had mild childhood illnesses. The relationship of health and food was complex, given the fact that diabetes ran in her family yet many traditional foods were very sweet or full of carbohydrates like corn. On one hand, she remembers having a very warm chocolate drink on frequent occasions at night when her grandmother was babysitting her and making many traditional desserts and rich foods with her grandmother. But there was also a certain amount of anxiety attached to consuming those items, given that technically her grandmother was not supposed to be eating them at all.

Religion was a very important part of the family’s state of social and mental health. When one of the uncles of the family had cancer, prayer was a very important part of the coping mechanisms used to deal with the inevitable fears that arose over the course of his treatment. He eventually recovered, and the power of prayer, not simply the power of doctors, was considered to be a factor in his survival.

However, while religion was an important psychological tool for the family, traditional psychology was not looked upon very favorably. When my friend asked to see a psychologist at one point in high school because she felt she was depressed, her concerns were dismissed and she was told that someone her age ‘didn’t have anything to be depressed about.’ No one in the family has ever sought formal psychological counseling for any reason, so far as she was aware (which is fairly unusual in contemporary life), although several members had talked with a priest during stressful life events.

Sexuality was not openly discussed in the family and my friend said that she had to independently seek out birth control and would not have felt comfortable discussing it frankly with her parents. This shows how while traditional values can be supportive of some positive health practices, they can also thwart them in other respects.


Heritage assessment tool. (2013). Prentice Hall. Retrieved:


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