photo by Pete Orelup

Photo courtesy of Pete Orelup



A goal of Hā Kūpuna is to advance knowledge on Native Hawaiian elders and to disseminate this information to improve the lives of kūpuna, their families, communities, organizations, and society.

Current Research

Improving Nā Kūpuna Health: A Dissemination Model Translating Research to Practice in Native Hawaiian Communities: Over the past seven years, Ha Kūpuna has worked to gather information on the health and well‐being of kūpuna. This dissemination project, funded by the HMSA Foundation, was created to share the knowledge gained and to make our website more accessible to kūpuna and their families. We organized professional and community‐based events to share our knowledge and to find out how we can better serve our kūpuna.

Oral History Project: Ha Kūpuna researchers are working with a Native Hawaiian charter school to strengthen the connection between kūpuna and Native Hawaiian youth. As part of their Language Arts course, ka Papa Lo‘i (students) at Hālau Kū Māna developed, conducted, video‐recorded, and produced edited tapes on nā mo‘olelo of six kūpuna. Watch our website for more information.

Data Collection on the Continent: Nearly 40% of Native Hawaiians reside on the continent, and knowledge on their social and health needs is extremely limited. Ha Kūpuna researchers have begun research to better identify and understand both adversities as well as resiliencies in kūpuna who live in Los Angeles and San Diego, California.

Dementia in Native Populations. Ha Kūpuna researchers and graduate students are presently exploring prevalence and evidence‐based interventions for dementia in American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian

Completed Research

Kūpuna and `Ohana Caregiver Listening Research Study: We went to the source, and held listening meetings with kūpuna and their `ohana caregivers in Hawai`i to identify their health and long‐term care needs and care preferences. Please refer to:
Browne, C., Mokuau, N., Braun, K., Higuchi, P., Ka`opua, L., Kim, B.J. Listening to the voices of Native Hawaiian elders and `ohana caregivers: Discussions on aging, health, and care preferences," Journal of Cross‐Cultural Gerontology, June 2014.

Mo`elelos, Grandparents, and Culture Research Study: In Hawai`i, 12% of Native Hawaiian grandparents live with grandchildren, compared to 7% of grandparents in all races combined in the state, and to 3.6% of grandparents in the U.S. Although strong family‐centric cultural values may provide Native Hawaiian grandparents with caregiving benefits, a generally poor health profile suggests they may also face challenges. In this study, we talked to Native Hawaiian grandparents raising grandchildren about their caregiving experiences, with an aim to document their challenges and benefits, including the transmission of cultural values. Findings from this study have been submitted for publication. Watch our website for more information.

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