Social-emotional competence may be a protective factor for academic achievement among American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) students. This study used Fisher's r to Z transformations to test for group differences in the magnitude of relationships between social-emotional competence and achievement. Hierarchical linear modeling was used to determine the variance in academic achievement explained by student race, poverty, and social-emotional competence, and the schoolwide percentage of students by race. Data are from 335 students across 6 schools. This study suggests that promoting social-emotional competence among AI/AN students could be a strategy for reducing disparities in academic achievement and the consequences of these disparities.
This article builds on the People Awakening (PA) Project, which explored an Alaska Native (AN) understanding of the recovery process from alcohol use disorder and sobriety. The aim of this study is to explore motivating and maintenance factors for sobriety among older AN adult participants (age 50+) from across Alaska. Ten life history narratives of Alaska Native older adults, representing Alutiiq, Athabascan, Tlingit, Yup'ik/Cup'ik Eskimos, from the PA sample were explored using thematic analysis. AN older adults 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 implications of this research indicates that family, role expectations and socialization, desire for community and culture engagement, and spirituality are central features to both AN Elders' understanding of sobriety, and more broadly, to their successful aging. Future research is needed to test these findings in population-based studies and to explore incorporation of these findings into alcohol treatment programs to support older AN adults' desire to quit drinking and attain long-term sobriety. Sobriety can put older AN 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.
American Indian and Alaska Native (AIAN) adolescent and adult men experience a range of health disparities relative to their non-AIAN counterparts and AIAN women. Given the relatively limited literature on early development in tribal contexts, however, indicators of risk during early childhood specific to AIAN boys are not well-known. The current article reviews sources of strength and challenge within AIAN communities for AIAN children in general, including cultural beliefs and practices that support development, and contextual challenges related to socioeconomic and health disparities and historical trauma affecting the AIAN population as a whole. The research literature on early development is reviewed, highlighting what this literature reveals about early gender differences. The article concludes with calls to action on behalf of AIAN boys that align with each of the five tiers of R. Frieden's (2010) Public Health Pyramid.
Lack of access to care, funding limitations, cultural, and social barriers are challenges specific to tribal communities that have led to adverse cancer outcomes among American Indians/Alaska Natives (AI/AN). While the cancer navigator model has been shown to be effective in other underserved communities, it has not been widely implemented in Indian Country. We conducted in-depth interviews with 40 AI/AN patients at tribal clinics in Idaho and Oregon. We developed the survey instrument in partnership with community members to ensure a culturally appropriate semi-structured questionnaire. Questions explored barriers to accessing care, perceptions of the navigator program, satisfaction, and recommendations. AI/AN cancer patients reported physical, emotional, financial, and transportation barriers to care, but most did not feel there were any cultural barriers to receiving care. Navigator services most commonly used included decision making, referrals, transportation, scheduling appointments, and communication. Satisfaction with the program was high. Our study provides a template to develop a culturally appropriate survey instrument for use with an AI/AN population, which could be adapted for use with other indigenous patient populations. Although our sample was small, our qualitative analysis facilitated a deeper understanding of the barriers faced by this population and how a navigator program may best address them. The results reveal the strengths and weakness of this program, and provide baseline patient satisfaction numbers which will allow future patient navigator programs to better create evaluation benchmarks.
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American Indian and Alaska Native men experience poorer sexual health than white men. Barriers related to their sex and racial identity may prevent them from seeking care; however, little is known about this population's use of sexual health services.
Sexual health service usage was examined among 923 American Indian and Alaska Native men and 5,322 white men aged 15-44 who participated in the 2006-2010 National Survey of Family Growth. Logistic regression models explored differences in service use by race and examined correlates of use among American Indians and Alaska Natives.
Among men aged 15-19 and those aged 35-44, men with incomes greater than 133% of the federal poverty level, men with private insurance, those living in the Northeast and those living in rural areas, American Indians and Alaska Natives were more likely than whites to use STD or HIV services (odds ratios, 1.5-3.2). The odds of birth control service use did not differ by race. Differences in service use were found among American Indian and Alaska Native men: For example, those with a usual source of care had elevated odds of using sexual health services (1.9-3.4), while those reporting no recent testicular exam had reduced odds of using these services (0.3-0.4).
This study provides baseline data on American Indian and Alaska Native men's use of sexual health services. Research exploring these men's views on these services is needed to help develop programs that better serve them.
American Indians and Alaska Natives (AI/ANs) experience significant cancer disparities. To inform future public health efforts, a web-based needs assessment survey collected quantitative and qualitative data from AI/AN community health workers and cancer survivors in the northwestern United States. Content analysis of qualitative responses identified themes to contextualize quantitative results. Seventy-six AI/AN respondents (93% female) described substantial unmet needs for education and resources to assist cancer survivors, including a shortage of patient navigators, support groups, and home health care workers. Fear of negative outcomes, a culturally rooted avoidance of discussing illness, and transportation difficulties were cited as major barriers to participation in cancer education and receipt of health services. Face-to-face contact was overwhelmingly preferred for community education and support, but many respondents were receptive to other communication channels, including e-mail, social media, and webinars. Survey results highlight the importance of culturally sensitive approaches to overcome barriers to cancer screening and education in AI/AN communities. Qualitative analysis revealed a widespread perception among respondents that available financial and human resources were insufficient to support AI/AN cancer patients' needs.
The Everyday Discrimination Scale (EDS) has been used widely as a measure of subjective experiences of discrimination. The usefulness of this measure for assessments of perceived experiences of discrimination by American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) peoples has not been explored. Data derived from the Special Diabetes Program for Indians--Healthy Heart Demonstration Project (SDPI-HH), a large-scale initiative to reduce cardiovascular risk among AI/ANs with Type 2 diabetes. Participants (N = 3,039) completed a self-report survey that included the EDS and measures of convergent and divergent validity. Missing data were estimated by multiple imputation techniques. Reliability estimates for the EDS were calculated, yielding a single factor with high internal consistency (a = .92). Younger, more educated respondents reported greater perceived discrimination; retired or widowed respondents reported less. Convergent validity was evidenced by levels of distress, anger, and hostility, which increased as the level of perceived discrimination increased (all p
Belief in an American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) specific biological vulnerability (BV) to alcohol problems (aka the "firewater myth") is associated with worse alcohol outcomes among AI/AN college students who drink, despite also being associated with greater attempts to reduce drinking. The current study examined how belief in a BV may have affected how 157 AI/AN college students who drink (a) attempted to moderate their alcohol use and avoid alcohol-related problems using abstinence-based and harm reduction strategies, and (b) attitudes toward these strategies as a means of addressing alcohol problems. Contrary to our hypotheses, belief in a BV was not found to be associated with use of harm reduction strategies or with how effective students believed these strategies to be. However, greater belief in a BV was associated with lower self-efficacy for the use of harm reduction strategies among more frequent heavy episodic drinkers. This is concerning, as the use of harm reduction strategies was associated with less frequent heavy episodic drinking in this sample. In contrast, belief in a BV was positively associated with the use of abstinence-based strategies and with how effective these strategies were perceived to be. However, for individuals with average or greater belief in a BV, abstinence-based strategies were associated with greater alcohol consequences. The results suggest that for AI/AN students who drink, belief in a BV may be influencing the strategies used to moderate alcohol use and avoid alcohol-related harm, as well as attitudes toward these strategies, in ways that do not appear helpful. (PsycINFO Database Record
American Indians and Alaska Natives (AI/AN) remain underrepresented in the academic medicine workforce and little is known about cultivating AI/AN medical students' interest in academic medicine careers. Five structured focus groups were conducted including 20 medical students and 18 physicians. The discussion guide explored factors influencing AI/AN trainees' academic medicine career interest and recommended approaches to increase their pursuit of academia. Consensual qualitative research was employed to analyze transcripts. Our research revealed six facilitating factors, nine dissuading factors, and five recommendations towards cultivating AI/AN pursuit of academia. Facilitators included the opportunity to teach, serving as a role model/mentor, enhancing the AI/AN medical education pipeline, opportunities to influence institution, collegiality, and financial stability. Dissuading factors included limited information on academic career paths, politics, lack of credit for teaching and community service, isolation, self-doubt, lower salary, lack of positions in rural areas, lack of focus on clinical care for AI/AN communities, and research obligations. Recommendations included heighten career awareness, recognize the challenges in balancing AI/AN and academic cultures, collaborate with IHS on faculty recruitment strategies, identify concordant role models/mentors, and identify loan forgiveness programs. Similar to other diverse medical students', raising awareness of academic career opportunities especially regarding teaching and community scholarship, access to concordant role models/mentors, and supportive institutional climates can also foster AI/AN medical students' pursuit of academia. Unique strategies for AI/AN trainees include learning how to balance AI/AN and academic cultures, collaborating with IHS on faculty recruitment strategies, and increasing faculty opportunities in rural areas.
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The rate of diagnosis of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection among American Indians and Alaska Natives (AI/ANs) in 2016 (10.2 per 100,000 population) was the fourth highest among seven racial/ethnic groups in the United States (1); the number of diagnoses of HIV infection among AI/AN persons increased by 70%, from 143 in 2011 to 243 in 2016 (1). However, little has been published about the sociodemographic, behavioral, and clinical characteristics of AI/AN patients with HIV infection in care because small sample sizes have led to infrequent analysis of AI/AN-specific estimates (2) and because of underestimation of AI/AN race/ethnicity in surveillance and other data sources (3). CDC analyzed data from the Medical Monitoring Project (MMP), a surveillance system that collects information about the experiences and needs of persons with diagnosed HIV infection, collected during 2011-2015 among AI/AN adults receiving HIV medical care. The results indicated that 64% of AI/AN patients with HIV infection in care achieved sustained viral suppression, and 76% achieved viral suppression at their most recent viral load test within the past 12 months, which is below the national HIV prevention goal of 80%, but comparable to or better than some other racial/ethnic groups (4). Based on self-report, 51% of AI/AN patients with HIV infection had incomes at or below the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' (HHS) annual poverty limit, 27% had symptoms of depression, 78% reported internalized HIV-related stigma, and 20% reported binge drinking in the past 30 days. To improve the health of AI/AN patients with HIV infection, it is important that health care providers, tribal organizations, and state and local health departments consider the sociodemographic and behavioral barriers to AI/AN patients with HIV infection achieving viral suppression and design care plans that seek to eliminate those barriers.