Journal of Community Health

, Volume 38, Issue 6, pp 1090–1097 | Cite as

A Comparison of Self-reported Physical Health and Health Conditions of American Indian/Alaskan Natives to Other College Students

  • David A. Patterson-Silver WolfEmail author
  • Carol VanZile-Tamsen
  • Jessica Black
  • Shanondora M. Billiot
  • Molly Tovar
Original Paper


American Indian/Alaska Natives comprise a small portion of the general college student population, but often have the poorest health and wellness, as well as the highest dropout rates compared to any other race or ethnicity. Despite the well-documented issues this group faces in higher education, they are often ignored in studies due to their status as the minority within the minority, comprising only 0.8 % of all college students in the US. This study examines the differences in college students’ overall ratings of health across racial and ethnic groups, focusing specifically on the health and wellness of AI/AN students compared to their counterparts. This paper also investigates the physical health issues students experienced in the past 12 months and the health issues’ impact on their academic achievement. Results showed that AI/AN students reported the lowest overall health ratings and the most health issues in the past year.


American Indian/Alaska Natives College retention College dropout Student health Academic achievement Health and wellness 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • David A. Patterson-Silver Wolf
    • 1
    Email author
  • Carol VanZile-Tamsen
    • 2
  • Jessica Black
    • 3
  • Shanondora M. Billiot
    • 3
  • Molly Tovar
    • 3
  1. 1.Brown School of Social WorkWashington University in St LouisSt LouisUSA
  2. 2.Office of University Accreditation and AssessmentUniversity at BuffaloBuffaloUSA
  3. 3.Brown School of Social Work, Kathryn M. Buder Center for American Indian StudiesWashington University in St LouisSt. LouisUSA

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