Urban American Indian and Alaska Native Youth: Youth Risk Behavior Survey 1997–2003

  • Shira Rutman
  • Alice Park
  • Mei Castor
  • Maile Taualii
  • Ralph Forquera
Article

DOI: 10.1007/s10995-008-0351-3

Cite this article as:
Rutman, S., Park, A., Castor, M. et al. Matern Child Health J (2008) 12(Suppl 1): 76. doi:10.1007/s10995-008-0351-3

Abstract

Objective To examine the prevalence of health risk-behaviors among American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) youth in urban areas. Methods Data from the national Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS) for the years 1997–2003 were used for the analyses (Urban sample = 52,364). The YRBS is a self-report questionnaire administered to a sample of 9th–12th grade students intended to monitor health risk-behaviors. “Urban” is defined as areas within a Metropolitan Statistical Area. Whites are used as the comparison group for the examination of AI/AN estimates. Results Urban AI/AN youth represented 1% of the urban sample (N = 513). The presence of a number of risk-behaviors were at least threefold higher in AI/AN compared to white youth in urban areas, including suicidal behaviors, feeling unsafe at school and needing medical treatment from a fight. Other factors were over twofold higher among AI/AN, including sexual behaviors, illegal drug use, violence at school, and experiences of rape, assault and pregnancy. Conclusions The higher prevalence of health risk-behaviors in urban AI/AN compared to white youth reflects a need for interventions focused on urban AI/AN youth.

Keywords

American Indian/Alaska Native Youth health Adolescent health Health disparities Maternal and child health 

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Shira Rutman
    • 1
  • Alice Park
    • 1
  • Mei Castor
    • 1
  • Maile Taualii
    • 1
  • Ralph Forquera
    • 1
  1. 1.Urban Indian Health Institute, Seattle Indian Health BoardSeattleUSA

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