This chapter explores motivating and maintenance factors for sobriety among older AN adult participants (age 50+) from across Alaska. Alaska Native Elders are motivated to abstain from, or to quit drinking alcohol through spirituality, family influence, role socialization and others’ role modeling, and a desire to engage in indigenous cultural generative activities with their family and community. A desire to pass on their accumulated wisdom to a younger generation through engagement and sharing of culturally grounded activities and values, or indigenous cultural generativity, is a central unifying motivational and maintenance factor for sobriety. The social work implications of this research indicates that family, role expectations and socialization, desire for community and culture engagement, and spirituality are central features to both Alaska Native Elders’ understanding of sobriety, and more broadly, to their successful aging. Social workers can use motivational interviewing techniques to explore Elders cultural motivations to encourage and support relapse prevention and support older Alaska Native adults’ desire to quit drinking and attain Eldership in their family and community. Sobriety can put older Alaska Native adults on a pathway to successful aging, in positions to serve as role models for their family and community, where they are provided opportunities to engage in meaningful indigenous cultural generative acts; roles they have learned about across their lifetime.
Part of the book: Global Social Work