News Room

News Release

  • IPFW.educt_img
  • Newsct_img
  • First Mondays Presentation Focuses on Numerous Issues in Samoa and Other Pacific Island Nations
For Immediate Release
March 26, 2012

First Mondays Presentation Focuses on Numerous Issues in Samoa and Other Pacific Island Nations

Key Info

  • IPFW First Mondays series, April 2, noon to 1:15 p.m., Science Building, Room 168
  • Hal Odden presents “Globalization, Rapid Social and Cultural Change, and Adolescent Health and Well-Being in Samoa and Other Pacific Island Nations”
  • Free and open to the public
First Mondays Presentation Focuses on Numerous Issues in Samoa and Other Pacific Island Nations Image 1
First Mondays Series logo Print-quality image

FORT WAYNE, Ind.—Indiana University–Purdue University Fort Wayne’s College of Arts and Sciences First Mondays series features Assistant Professor of Anthropology Hal Odden and his presentation, “Globalization, Rapid Social and Cultural Change, and Adolescent Health and Well-Being in Samoa and Other Pacific Island Nations,” Monday, April 2, at noon in Science Building, Room 168.

Odden says “Rapid social, cultural, and economic change has been associated with a wide range of mental and behavioral health problems in adolescents and young adults, including alcohol and drug abuse, suicidal behaviors, and violence in places as varied as China, Southeast Asia, Eastern Europe, and the South Pacific. Although we might intuitively see a connection between exposure to a rapidly changing world and individual distress, the actual mechanisms connecting the two remains elusive and are likely quite complex. We know that there is considerable variation in the types of risks to young people’s well-being from one society to the next, even when these societies are undergoing very similar kinds of social changes. Additionally, some individuals exhibit surprising resilience in the face of substantial change and others find great opportunities for advancement, both of which suggest that change is not inherently distressing.”

Odden will discuss these issues with reference to his ongoing research in the Western Pacific nation of Samoa. Samoa is of particular interest in these debates, because there are clear signs of adolescent distress. Most notably, Samoa has had one of the highest global rates of adolescent suicide for the past several decades. Odden will review some of the models and talk about his research on drug use, suicidal behaviors, spirit possession, migration, and identity of young Samoans.

First Mondays is a student-focused series sponsored by COAS. First Mondays presentations feature COAS faculty discussing interesting aspects of their research in a relaxed atmosphere. The discussions allow IPFW students to delve into and learn about research areas often not covered in the classroom. The lectures are free and open to the public.

For more information on the series, visit the website or contact Carl Drummond, dean of COAS, at 260-481-6160 or drummond@ipfw.edu; for information on the lecture, contact Odden at 260-481-4183 or oddenh@ipfw.edu.

####