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Sat Oct 6, 2012, 05:32 PM

Studies of Substance Abuse with Interventions for the Youth of Native American Indian Community #12

Last edited Sun Oct 7, 2012, 03:38 PM - Edit history (1)

Definitions #7

Although risk is a widely understood and agreed upon concept, protection is not, and there has been little consensus on the definition and operationalization of protective factors (see Jessor, VandenBos, Vanderryn, Costa, & Turbin, 1995). Some define risk and protection as opposite ends of a single dimension. A protective factor, then, is the absence of or a low level of risk. Others argue that the concept of protection is orthogonal and extends beyond the mere absence of risk. These scholars contend that a protective factor is an independent variable that can have a direct effect on behavior and can also moderate the relationship between a risk factor and behavior (J. D. Hawkins, Catalano, & Miller, 1992; Rutter, 1987). Both definitions of protection are represented in the studies presented here.

Among youth in the general population, protective factors include stable and supportive relationships with parents and prosocial adults, self-efficacy in social relations, bonding to conventional society, community resources, cultural involvement, participation in organized group activities, and involvement in religious activities (Barrett, Simpson, & Lehman, 1988; Elder, Leaver-Dunn, Wang, Nagy, & Green, 2000; J. D. Hawkins et al., 1992; Newcomb & Felix-Ortiz, 1992; Tyler & Lichtenstein, 1997). Comparatively little is known about factors that serve to protect Indian youth against the development of substance use problems. There is no compelling reason to believe that the factors listed here would not also be protective for Indian youth. Indeed, strong bonds with the family and school are believed to serve as protective factors against deviance, whereas peer associations can serve as sources for either prosocial or deviant norms (Oetting, Donnermeyer, Trimble, & Beauvais, 1998). In one of the few published studies of protective factors among American Indian youth, Le-Master et al. (2002) found that academic orientation served to lower the risk for cigarette smoking.

Much is unknown about protective factors that are specific to the cultural and community context of Native Americans. Despite the strongly held belief in the positive power of Indian cultural identity and participation, research has yielded conflicting findings. For example, one study demonstrated that inhalant abuse rates were lower for youth who participated in structured activities such as traditional tribal activities and ceremonies (Thurman & Green, 1997). Similarly, Mason (1995) found that a positive culturally oriented self-concept was associated with lower rates of substance use. However, attendance at cultural events has also been linked to marijuana and cigarette use (Petoskey, Van Stelle, & De Jong, 1998), and in one study traditional orientation was highly correlated with problem behaviors such as getting drunk or high (Mail, 1997). In a sample of urban Native youth, increased report of alcohol-related problems was associated with identification with the “Indian way of life” (E. H. Hawkins, 2002). Still other studies have found no relationship between cultural identity and substance use (Bates, Beauvais, & Trimble, 1997).

There remains strong support for the idea that bicultural competence serves to decrease risk for substance misuse. Bicultural competence has been defined as the ability to alternate between one’s ethnic and white identities in response to contextual cultural cues (LaFromboise, Coleman, & Gerton, 1993). This capability is widely believed to be instrumental in helping Indian youth successfully negotiate potentially harmful situations by increasing positive coping skills, self-efficacy, and social support, factors that have been linked to positive outcomes in substance abuse treatment (Annis & Davis, 1991; Marlatt & Gordon, 1985; Rychtarik, Prue, Rapp, & King, 1992). A similar model is stake theory, which holds that identifying with, or having a stake in, both Native and mainstream cultures can serve as a protective factor against substance abuse (Ferguson, 1976; Honigmann & Honigmann, 1968).

Among many ethnic groups, positive outcomes in issues of health and adjustment, including addictive behaviors, are associated with higher levels of bicultural competence (LaFromboise et al., 1993). For Native youth living on reservations or tribal land, having a bicultural identity has been associated with increased social competencies, personal mastery, self-esteem, and social support (Moran, Fleming, Somervell, & Manson, 1999). However, it is clear that further research is needed to clarify the role culture plays as a source of risk or protection for substance use problems in this population.

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Reply Studies of Substance Abuse with Interventions for the Youth of Native American Indian Community #12 (Original post)
MindMover Oct 2012 OP
tama Oct 2012 #1
MindMover Oct 2012 #2
tama Oct 2012 #3

Response to MindMover (Original post)

Sat Oct 6, 2012, 05:58 PM

1. "attendance at cultural events has also been linked to marijuana and cigarette use"

 

Tobacco is sacrament in many cultural events. As is peyote "high".

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Response to MindMover (Reply #2)

Sat Oct 6, 2012, 06:28 PM

3. I have a "bicultural identity"

 

and I don't need top down academic studies to tell me that it makes me more whole. Not divided, whole. It is the "white man" who is divided, lost and afraid.

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