American Indian and Alaska Native youth suffer disproportionately higher rates of trauma, substance abuse, and youth suicide. At the same time, there is great diversity and many unacknowledged strengths in contemporary native communities that can and should be a part of any solution to these problems.
This unique book examines the physical, psychological, social, and environmental factors that support or undermine healthy development in American Indian children, including economics, biology, and public policies.
The reasons for mental health issues among American Indian and Alaska Native children have not been well understood by investigators outside of tribal communities. Developing appropriate methodological approaches and evidence-based programs for helping these youths is an urgent priority in developmental science. This work must be done in ways that are cognizant of how the negative consequences of colonization contribute to American Indian and Alaska Native tribal members' underutilization of mental health services, higher therapy dropout rates, and poor response to culturally insensitive treatment programs.
This book examines the forces affecting psychological development and mental health in American Indian children today. Experts from leading universities discuss factors such as family conditions, economic status, and academic achievement, as well as political, social, national, and global influences, including racism. Specific attention is paid to topics such as the role of community in youth mental health issues, depression in American Indian parents, substance abuse and alcohol dependency, and the unique socioeconomic characteristics of this ethnic group.
• Includes both a subject and author index to facilitate further research
• Addresses topics commonly featured in popular media nationwide, signaling wide general interest and a need for information about the subject
• Includes comprehensive information on history, current events, psychology, politics, public policy, sociology, economics, and more
• Examines the specific factors that conspire to undermine American Indian children's achievement and mental health, such as poverty, substance abuse, and the historical consequences of colonization
• Provides information about programs that are proving effective to help these children succeed