We explored the interrelationships among components of cultural connectedness (i.e., identity, traditions, and spirituality) and First Nations youth mental health using a brief version of the original Cultural Connectedness Scale. Participants included 290 First Nations youth (M age = 14.4) who were recruited from both urban and rural school settings in Saskatchewan and Southwestern Ontario. We performed a confirmatory factor analysis of the Cultural Connectedness Scale-Short Version (CCS-S) items to investigate the factor stability of the construct in our sample. We examined the relationships between the CCS-S subscales and self-efficacy, sense of self (present and future), school connectedness, and life satisfaction using hierarchical multiple linear regression analyses to establish the validity of the abbreviated measure. The results revealed that cultural connectedness, as measured by the 10-item CCS-S, had strong associations with the mental health indicators assessed and, in some cases, was associated with First Nations youth mental health above and beyond other social determinants of health. Our results extend findings from previous research on cultural connectedness by elucidating the meaning of its components and demonstrate the importance of culture for positive youth development.
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