Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Holistic Health Studies


Holistic Health

First Advisor

Stasia Johnson Steinhagen


Holistic Health Studies


Due to the effects of relocation and acculturation, some Hmong may have lost touch with traditional spiritual practices, potentially limiting second-generation’s access to spirituality’s health benefits. Awe is an emotion linked to spirituality, shown to serve as a spiritual catalyst. Acculturation impacts how spirituality and awe are experienced, understood and expressed across the generations. To date, there are more than 81,000 Hmong people who live in Minnesota. Through a constructivist lens, the purpose of this study is to describe spirituality and awe experiences within the second-generation Hmong living in Minnesota. Utilizing a phenomenological approach and a holism framework, Interpretive Phenomenological Analysis of nine semi-structured interviews shows that participants do in fact experience spirituality and awe. These experiences are intertwined, involve the senses and emotions, and result in a sense of interconnection, spiritual identity, purpose, and open-mindedness. This study emphasizes the importance of intergenerational dialogue surrounding spiritual and awe experiences to increase understanding of their own culture, religious practices, and spiritual identity. Spirituality should be included in health practitioner education and health care models to promote Hmong spiritual, mental, interpersonal and community health and well-being.