American Indian Youth: Personal, Familial, and Environmental Strengths

  • Arlene Rubin Stiffman
  • Eddie Brown
  • Stacey Freedenthal
  • Laura House
  • Emily Ostmann
  • Man Soo Yu
Original Paper


We present data from interviews with 401 youths on the relationship of personal, familial, and environmental strengths to the outcomes of urban and reservation American Indian youths. Urban youths consistently nominated more strengths than tribal youths, except in the area of tribal strengths. Quantitative data show how those strengths relate to their school success, daily functioning, mental health, and ethnic identity. Personal and familial strengths are related to positive school success and functioning. Environmental strengths demonstrate complex relationships in which tribal strengths are related to increased mental health problems and school strengths are related to fewer problems. The results of our study speak to the need to include multiple categories of different strengths in research and to focus on strengths as well as problems in clinical interventions.


American Indian Mental health Strengths Youth 



Funding was provided by NIMH K02 MH01797-01A1, and NIDA R24DA13572-0 and R01 DA13227-01. Special thanks to Walter Buggs for his research assistance.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Arlene Rubin Stiffman
    • 1
  • Eddie Brown
    • 2
  • Stacey Freedenthal
    • 3
  • Laura House
    • 4
  • Emily Ostmann
    • 1
  • Man Soo Yu
    • 1
  1. 1.George Warren Brown School of Social Work, Comorbidity and Addictions CenterWashington UniversitySt. LouisUSA
  2. 2.American Indian StudiesArizona State UniversityTempeUSA
  3. 3.University of DenverDenverUSA
  4. 4.Public Health Advisor/Evaluator, SAMSHADivision of Service ImprovementBethesdaUSA

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