Community partnership to affect substance abuse among Native American adolescents


Background: Substance abuse is one of the nation's primary health concerns. Native American youth experience higher rates of substance abuse than other youth. There is little empirical evidence that exists concerning the use of culturally-based interventions among Native American adolescents. Objectives: This study used a community-based participatory research approach to develop and evaluate an innovative school-based cultural intervention targeting substance abuse among a Native American adolescent population. Methods: A two-condition quasi-experimental study design was used to compare the Cherokee Talking Circle (CTC) culturally-based intervention condition (n 92) with the Be A Winner Standard Education (SE) condition (n 87). Data were collected at pre-intervention, immediate post-intervention, and 90-day post-intervention using the Cherokee Self-Reliance Questionnaire, Global Assessment of Individual Needs Quick, and Written Stories of Stress measures. Results: Significant improvements were found among all measurement outcomes for the CTC culturally-based intervention. Conclusions: The data provide evidence that a Native American adolescent culturally-based intervention was significantly more effective for the reduction of substance abuse and related problems than a noncultural-based intervention. Scientific Significance: This study suggests that cultural considerations may enhance the degree to which specific interventions address substance abuse problems among Native American adolescents. © 2012 Informa Healthcare USA, Inc.

Publication Title

American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse