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Review Article

Family support and the child as health promoting agent in the Arctic - "the Inuit way"

Submitted: 24 October 2011
Revised: 21 December 2011
Published: 3 May 2012

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Author(s) : Montgomery-Andersen RA, Borup I.

Citation: Montgomery-Andersen RA, Borup I.  Family support and the child as health promoting agent in the Arctic - "the Inuit way". Rural and Remote Health (Internet) 2012; 12: 1977. Available: (Accessed 18 October 2017)


Introduction:††In the context of the UNís 1990 'Convention on the Rightís of the Child' 1990, and the associated definition of health promotion as a communityís ability to recognise, define and make decisions on how to create a healthy society, this article describes and analyses how family support networks are conceived and present themselves in perinatal Inuit families.
Methods:††This literature review conducted an initial and secondary search using the keywords and combinations of the keywords: healthy families, health promoting families, resiliency, Arctic, Inuit, Family support, was executed in PubMed, Popline, CSA and CINAHL. The tertiary literature search was then combined with literature gleaned from literature lists, and other relevant articles were selected.
Results:††Individual members of the family contribute to the health of the family, but the child is often the catalyst for health promotion within the family, not only the siblings to the unborn child, but also the unborn child. Perinatal entities create their own networks that support and develop concepts of family and support systems. Resiliency, kinship and ecocultural process within the family are concomitant to the health of perinatal family and of the children.
Conclusion:††More research is needed that moves children from being viewed as the receivers of health towards being seen as the promoters of health and an important actor as health promoting agent within the family.

Key words: child health promotion, ecocultural pathways, Greenland, health promoting agents, health promotion, Inuit, resiliency, social network.

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