Student Evaluation: Essay Question

The Case of Mrs. J


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Mrs. J. is 60 years old, an enrolled member of a large tribe in the Great Lakes region. As a child attending public school in the area in which she lived, she was beaten and severely punished (as were her older brothers and sisters) for speaking her Indian language. As a result, she did not participate in class, and developed an intense distrust of White people. Mrs. J. did not speak her language while raising her two children so as to spare them similar abuse and discrimination. One of her two children was later able to develop an understanding of the language and culture during the “culture-seeking” of the 1970’s and 1980’s, but the other child did not.


 1. How might this experience have affected Mrs. J’s communication patterns? How might her motivation to pass along knowledge of Indian ways to her children have been affected?

2. What would you anticipate that Mrs. J’s attitude and demeanor might be like during an initial interview?

3. What approaches might be appropriate and culturally sensitive?

 Refer to Table 4: Communication Patterns Affecting Health Assessment