267576 Healing the Next Generation: The Effect of Cultural Activities on Historical Trauma Among California Native American Adolescents

Tuesday, October 30, 2012 : 9:10 AM - 9:30 AM

Kurt Schweigman, MPH , Native American Health Center, Oakland, CA
Claradina Soto, PhD , Keck School of Medicine, Institute for Prevention Research at the University of Sothern California, Los Angeles, CA
Today, American Indian and Alaska Native children experience trauma 2.5 times more than their peers. This study analyzed data from a large statewide sample of Native American adolescents throughout California to determine whether participation in cultural practices was associated with reducing Historical Trauma (HT). The Historical Loss Scale was used to measure intergenerational trauma and grief among 944 Native American adolescents (44% male) aged 13 to 19 years across California. We analyzed how respondents who participated in cultural activities including drum group, pow-wows, roundhouses and sweat lodge related to Native American specific Historical Trauma than their counterparts who did not take part in cultural activities. Findings from this study show the need for careful consideration linking American Indian based traditional cultural activities with lessening the impact of Historical Trauma among Native American youth in California. Furthermore, cultural-based practices to enhance Native American identity could be useful to improve behavioral health and lessening mental health trauma among Native American adolescents.

Learning Areas:
Diversity and culture
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Public health or related education
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
Learning Objectives: Demonstrate knowledge of how Native American Historical Trauma interrelates with adolescents participating in American Indian cultural activities as compared to their counterparts who did not take part in cultural activities. Describe which types of cultural activities are associated with Historical Trauma within the study sample (male vs. female, urban vs. reservation) and how their depression, ethnic identity, and spiritual beliefs are associated with Historical Trauma.

Keywords: Native Americans, Behavioral Research

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been the project manager of federal and state funded grants focusing on the prevention and early intervention of behavioral health and substance abuse disorders among the American Indian population. My scientific interests have been the development of strategies and advocacy for behavioral health wellness in American Indian communities. In addition, to share research and project findings through peer-reviewed publications and public health presentations.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.