Maternal and Child Health Journal

, Volume 17, Issue 7, pp 1199–1207 | Cite as

Protective Factors in American Indian Communities and Adolescent Violence

  • Jia Pu
  • Betty Chewning
  • Iyekiyapiwin Darlene St. Clair
  • Patricia K. Kokotailo
  • Jeanne Lacourt
  • Dale Wilson
Article

Abstract

With their distinct cultural heritage and rural boundaries, American Indian reservation communities offer a unique opportunity to explore protective factors that help buffer adolescents from potential risk behaviors such as violence. Prior published research on Indian communities has not explored three potential protective factors for violence—parental monitoring of adolescents and friends, adolescents’ self-efficacy to avoid fighting, and adolescents’ interest in learning more about their traditional culture. This paper explores the relationship between these factors and reduced risk of reported violence. In 1998, 630 American Indian students in grades 6–12 were surveyed in five Midwestern, rural Indian reservation schools. Path analysis was used to identify the direct and indirect association of the three potential protective factors with reduced violence behavior. There were significant gender differences both in perceived parental monitoring and in adolescents’ self-efficacy. For female adolescents, parental monitoring had the strongest inverse relationship with female adolescents’ involvement in violence. Female adolescents’ self-efficacy and their interest in learning more about their culture were also inversely associated with violence and therefore potentially important protectors. Male adolescents who reported more interest in learning the tribe’s culture had better self-efficacy to avoid violence. However, self-efficacy did not successfully predict their reported involvement in peer violence. These findings support exploring gender differences, parental monitoring, self-efficacy training as well as cultural elements in future violence intervention studies. Further investigation is needed to identify protective factors for risk behaviors among male adolescents and test the generalizability to non-reservation based adolescents.

Keywords

American Indian adolescents Protective factors for peer violence Parental monitoring Self-efficacy Traditional culture 

References

  1. 1.
    Youth Online: High School YRBS. (2011). Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://apps.nccd.cdc.gov/youthonline/App/QuestionsOrLocations.aspx?CategoryId=1. Accessed July 12, 2012.
  2. 2.
    Bearinger, L. H., Pettingell, S. L., & Resnick, M. D. (2005). Violence perpetration among urban American Indian youth. Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, 159, 270–277.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Duran, E., & Duran, B. (1995). Native American postcolonial psychology. Albany: State University of New York Press.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Stannard, D. E. (1992). American holocaust: The conquest of the new world. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Wrone, D. R., & Nelson, R. S. (1982). Whose the savage?. Malabar, FL: Robert E. Krieger Publishing Company.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Thornton, R. (1987). American Indian holocaust and survival: A population history since 1492. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Brave Heart, M. Y. B., & DeBruyn, L. M. (1998). The American Indian holocaust: Healing historical unresolved grief. American Indian and Alaska Native Mental Health Research, 8, 56–78.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Brave Heart, M. Y. H., Chase, J., Elkins, J., & Altschul, D. B. (2011). Historical trauma among indigenous peoples of the Americas: Concepts, research, and clinical considerations. Journal of Psychoactive Drugs, 43(4), 282–290.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Nesper, L. (2002). The walleye war: The struggle for Ojibwe spearfishing and treaty rights. Lincoln and London: University of Nebraska Press.Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Maze of injustice: The failure to protect indigenous women from sexual violence in the USA. (2007). Amnesty International. http://www.amnestyusa.org/pdfs/MazeOfInjustice.pdf. Accessed July 12, 2012.
  11. 11.
    Whitbeck, L. B., Chen, X. J., & Hoyt, D. R. (2004). Discrimination, historical loss and enculturation: Culturally specific risk and resiliency factors for alcohol abuse among American Indians. Journal of Studies on Alcohol, 65(4), 409–418.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Chewning, B., Douglas, J., Kokotailo, P., Lacourt, J., St. Clair, D., & Wilson, D. (2001). Protective factors associated with Indian adolescents’ safer sexual patterns. Journal of Maternal and Child Health, 5(4), 273–280.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Estrada-Martinez, L. M., Padilla, M. B., Caldwell, C. H., & Schulz, A. J. (2011). Examining the influence of family environments on youth violence: A comparison of Mexican, Puerto Rican, Cuban, Non-Latino Black, and Non-Latino white adolescents. Journal of Youth Adolescents, 40(8), 1039–1051.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Foshee, V. A., Reyes, H. L. M., Ennett, S. T., & Suchindran, C. (2011). Risk and protective factors distinguishing profiles of adolescent peer and dating violence perpetration. Journal of Adolescent Health, 48, 344–350.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Henrich, C. C., Brookmeyer, K. A., & Shahar, G. (2005). Weapon violence in adolescence: Parent and school connectedness as protective factors. Journal of Adolescent Health, 37, 306–312.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Hardaway, C. R., McLoyd, V. C., & Wood, D. (2012). Exposure to violence and socioemotional adjustment in low-income youth: An examination of protective factors. American Journal of Community Psychology, 49(1–2), 112–126.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Stoddard, S. A., McMorris, B. J., & Sieving, R. E. (2011). Do social connections and hope matter in predicting early adolescent violence? American Journal of Community Psychology, 48(3–4), 247–256.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Cummins, J. R., Ireland, M., Resnick, M. D., & Blum, R. W. (1999). Correlates of physical and emotional health among Native American adolescents. Journal of Adolescent Health, 24(1), 38–44.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Grossman, D. C., Milligan, B. C., & Deyo, R. A. (1991). Risk factors for suicide attempts among Navajo adolescents. American Journal of Public Health, 81(7), 870–874.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Pettingell, S. L., Bearinger, L. H., Skay, C. L., Resnick, M. D., Potthoff, S. J., & Eichhorn, J. (2008). Protecting urban American Indian young people from suicide. American Journal of Health Behavior, 32(5), 465–476.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Bearinger, L. H., Pettingell, S. L., Resnick, M. D., & Potthoff, S. J. (2010). Reducing weapon-carrying among urban American Indian young people. Journal of Adolescent Health, 47(1), 43–50.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Swaim, R. C., Oetting, E. R., Thurman, P. J., Beauvais, F., & Edwards, R. W. (1993). American Indian adolescent drug use and socialization characteristics: A cross-cultural comparison. Journal of Cross Cultural Psychology, 24, 53–70.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Swaim, R. C., Beauvais, F. B., Wwalker, R. D., & Silk-Wwalker, P. (2011). The effects of parental diagnosis and changing family norms on alcohol use and related problems among urban American Indian adolescents. The American Journal on Addictions, 20, 212–219.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Baldwin, J. A., Brown, B. G., & Wayment, H. A. (2011). Culture and context: Buffering the relationship between stressful life events and risky behaviors in American Indian youth. Substance Use and Misuse, 11, 1380–1394.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Baranowski, T., Cheryl, L. P., & Guy, S. P. (1997). Social cognitive theory. In K. Glanz, F. M. Lewis, & B. K. Rimer (Eds.), Health behavior and health education (2nd ed., pp. 153–178). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass Publishers.Google Scholar
  26. 26.
    Baban, A., & Craciun, C. (2007). Changing health-risk behaviors: A review of theory and evidence-based interventions in health psychology. Journal of Cognitive and Behavioral Psychotherapies, 1, 45–67.Google Scholar
  27. 27.
    Galliher, R. V., Evans, C. M., Weiser, D. (2007). Social and individual predictors of substance use for Native American youth. Journal of Child and Adolescent Substance Abuse, 16(3), 1–16.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Scott, W. D., & Dearing, E. (2012). A longitudinal study of self-efficacy and depressive symptoms in youth of a North American Plains tribe. Development and Psychopathology, 24(02), 607–622.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    Lacourt, J., St. Clair, D., Kokotailo, P. K., Wilson, D., & Chewning, B. (2005). Know your roots: Development and evaluation of an oral history curriculum for Native American middle-school students. American Indian Culture & Research Journal, 29(4), 59–74.Google Scholar
  30. 30.
    LaFromboise, T. D., Hoyt, D. R., Oliver, L., & Whitbeck, L. B. (2006). Family, community, and school influences on resilience among American Indian adolescents in the upper Midwest. Journal of Community Psychology, 34(2), 193–209.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. 31.
    Leland, L. (2009). The relationship between Navajo adolescents’ knowledge and attitude of Navajo culture and their self-esteem and resiliency. Dissertation Abstracts International Section A: Humanities and Social Sciences, 69-A(12), 4631.Google Scholar
  32. 32.
    Jessor, R. (1992). Risk behavior in adolescence: A psychosocial framework for understanding and action. Developmental Review, 12, 374–390.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. 33.
    Small, S. A., & Kerns, D. (1993). Unwanted sexual activity during early and middle adolescence: Incidence and risk factors. Journal of Marriage and the Family, 55, 941–952.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. 34.
    Rolf, J., Baldwin, J., Trotter, R., Alexander, D., Denetsosie, R., Tongue, N., et al. (1991). AIDS prevention of youth of rural Native American tribes. International Conference of AIDS, 7, 395.Google Scholar
  35. 35.
    Youth Risk Behavior Survey of high school students attending Bureau funded schools. (2001). Bureau of Indian Affairs. http://www.eric.ed.gov/ERICWebPortal/search/detailmini.jsp?_nfpb=true&_&ERICExtSearch_SearchValue_0=ED459056&ERICExtSearch_SearchType_0=no&accno=ED459056. Accessed February 12, 2011.
  36. 36.
    Great Tribe of Navajo Nation: YRBSS report. (2003). www.yrbs.navajo.org. Accessed February 12, 2011.
  37. 37.
    Rutman, S., Park, A., Castor, M., Taualii, M., & Forquera, R. (2008). Urban American Indian and Alaska Native youth: Youth risk behavior survey 1997–2003. Maternal and Child Health Journal, 12, S76–S81.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. 38.
    Smokowski, P. R., David-Ferdon, C., & Stroupe, N. (2009). Acculturation and violation in minority adolescents: A review of the empirical literature. Journal of Primary Prevention, 30, 215–263.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. 39.
    Bandura, A. (1997). Self-efficacy: Toward a unifying theory of behavioral change. Psychological Review, 84, 191–215.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. 40.
    Goodkind, J., LaNoue, M., Lee, C., Freeland, L., & Freund, R. (2012). Feasibility, acceptability, and initial findings from a community‐based cultural mental health intervention for American Indian youth and their families. Journal of Community Psychology, 40(4), 381–405.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. 41.
    Pavkov, T. W., Travis, L., Fox, K. A., King, C. B., & Cross, T. L. (2010). Tribal youth victimization and delinquency: Analysis of Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance Survey data. Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology, 16(2), 123–134.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. 42.
    Go, C. G., & Le, T. N. (2005). Gender differences in Cambodian delinquency: The role of ethnic identity, parental discipline, and peer delinquency. Crime & Delinquency, 51, 220–237.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jia Pu
    • 1
  • Betty Chewning
    • 1
  • Iyekiyapiwin Darlene St. Clair
    • 2
  • Patricia K. Kokotailo
    • 3
  • Jeanne Lacourt
    • 4
  • Dale Wilson
    • 1
  1. 1.School of PharmacyUniversity of Wisconsin MadisonMadisonUSA
  2. 2.Department of American Indian StudiesUniversity of MinnesotaMinneapolisUSA
  3. 3.Department of Pediatrics, School of Medicine and Public HealthUniversity of WisconsinMadisonUSA
  4. 4.American Indian Studies, Ethnic Studies and Women’s DepartmentSt. Cloud State UniversitySt. CloudUSA

Personalised recommendations