• Alaska Native attachment: a qualitative study with four Athabascan participants

      Keller, Lester R. (2003-08)
      Attachment between caregiver and child is an affectional, nurturing bond that develops through the provision of sensitive, constantly available, and responsive care for the child. The attachment bond evolves around diverse interactive experiences that encourage the development of cognitive-emotional schemata and the internalization of a cognitive-emotional working model of relationships. Different cultural experiences encourage the development of different cognitive-emotional schemata. Using a semi-structured interview, behavior, values, and the developmental endpoint associated with attachment was collaboratively explored with four Athabascan research participants, and concepts that emerged were compared and contrasted with those articulated by mainstream attachment theory within Western psychology. Attachment domains that emerged from triangulated interview data were (1) caregiver sensitivity, (2) trust development, (3) exploring, and (4) social competence. In mainstream attachment theory, one caregiver is the primary secure base for a child. Athabascan primary caregivers were a component of a larger community-wide secure base that included important secondary caregivers within a large kinship structure. In mainstream attachment theory, Western cultural values guide a social attachment process toward autonomy and self-direction for the individual. Athabascan community encourages values such as sharing of materials and community solidarity; an endpoint to the attachment process is instead social competence.
    • Attributions of blame and social reactions to scenarios of sexual assault of adult women

      Skanis, Marie L.; Lopez, Ellen; Rivkin, Inna; Gifford, Valerie; Worrall, John (2019-08)
      Alaska consistently has the highest rate of sexual assault in the nation, yet research within the state has focused on stranger rape or assaults which were reported to medical or law enforcement professionals. National research suggests these characteristics are not representative of most victims. The current study fills a gap in research by examining the attitudes and reactions towards victims of stranger and acquaintance rape who have disclosed their assault to friends rather than authorities. Attribution theory was hypothesized to underlie relationships between attributions, emotional reactions, and social behaviors that victims encounter. Using an experimental design, participants were randomly assigned to read either a scenario of realistic acquaintance (common) or stereotypical (rare) stranger rape. The stereotypical assault scenario depicted a victim who was attacked outdoors by a stranger in a physically violent manner. The acquaintance rape scenario, in which a woman experiences assault inside her home by a known acquaintance who uses coercive verbal tactics, reflects characteristics of sexual assault that are experienced by most victims. The influences of type of rape, modern sexism, rape myth acceptance, expected peer rape myth acceptance, gender, training, or experience responding to disclosures of sexual assault on participant reactions were explored. It was hypothesized that participants reading the acquaintance rape scenario, participants with higher acceptance of negative attitudes (rape myths and modern sexism) and expectations that peers accept high levels of rape myths, male participants, and those who lack training or experience responding to disclosures would report more negative attributions (high fault and blame), emotional reactions (low empathy and high anger), and social reactions to the victim and positive reactions towards the perpetrator (low attributions of fault and blame, high empathy and low anger). Results revealed that acceptance of modern sexism, rape myths, and expecting that friends accept rape myths were associated with higher attributions of fault and blame to the victim, more anger towards the victim, more empathy felt for the perpetrator, and increased likelihood of offering the victim negative social responses. When asked what would improve response to sexual assault at UAF, participants indicated that changes in training, the UAF community, Title IX processes, awareness, resources, and demonstrating trustworthiness are important. Given these results, recommendations for stakeholders include communicating that most students do not accept modern sexism or rape myths to combat pluralistic ignorance and targeting the most prevalent rape myths in training. Changes to education and awareness efforts are recommended, including conducting sessions in-person, over several sessions, within single-gender groups, and utilization of pre- and post-training outcomes assessments to measure a variety of biases (such as rape myths). Stakeholders are encouraged to use existing research as a framework for teaching students about different types of reactions to disclosures of sexual assault, emphasizing which reactions victims experience as helpful and hurtful. Limitations and strengths of the study are also discussed.
    • Becoming adults in a rural Yup'ik community: a longitudinal qualitative study exploring resilience

      Ford, Tara J.; Allen, James; Whipple, Jason; David, Eric John; Henry, David; Rasmus, Stacy M. (2013-08)
      The aim of this study is to explore strategies for navigating challenges in a rural Alaskan Yup'ik community among youth and young adults. This qualitative study captures a longitudinal perspective as youth (N=25; 11 -18 years old) were originally interviewed in January 2010. For the current study, participants were re-interviewed in December 2012. Follow-up interviews addressed life challenges over the past three years and resources that helped them with their hard times. To reinforce the multifaceted nature of growing-up in a rural Yup'ik community, scholarly literature along with observations, conversations with local residents, and local wisdom captured in anthropological work are featured throughout this paper. Fifteen youth (14 years old - 20 years old) agreed to be re-interviewed. Developmental changes were noted regarding challenges and protective resources. Youth emphasized challenges as sources of vulnerabilities around lack of employment and interpersonal relationship strain. Similar to findings from the original study, interpersonal relationship distress was discussed in three distinct contexts including antagonist "girl drama," family discord, and partner relations conflicts. Youth identified personal strengths such as re-framing challenges, seeking personal space, and family support to overcome challenges. Contemporary understanding of emergent young adults' role and responsibilities in a rural Yup'ik setting warrants further study as it was found to be a source of vulnerability. Findings can inform clinical and prevention work in the community. For example, targeted community activities can address reported challenges including job fairs and workshops on healthy relationships with specificity to the experience of becoming an adult in rural Alaska.
    • A comparison between talking circles and mainstream student support groups for college life adjustment with Alaska Native students

      Woods, Tina Marie; David, E. J. R.; Petraitis, John; Lampman, John; Allen, James (2013-05)
      Alaska Native college students are less likely to graduate within a four year time span, have higher drop-out rates, and have lower grade point averages compared to other students. In addition to the typical life adjustments, challenges, and stressors that come along with college life, Alaska Native college students also commonly face conflicts between their heritage culture and the Westernized systems of colleges and universities, which might make it more difficult for Alaska Native college students to successfully adjust to college life, perform well academically, and remain committed to completing their education. Thus, this study used an experimental design to compare two similar student support groups (Talking Circles or TC and Mainstream Support Groups or MSG) that were administered during an academic semester to determine which works better with Alaska Native college students for facilitating their adjustment to college life, academic performance, and commitment to completing college. Using an experimental, pre-/post-test comparison group design with 24 Alaska Native college students (TC n=10; MSG n=14), the results revealed that neither TCs nor MSGs increased levels of adjustment to college life and commitment to completing college. Furthermore, although the results showed that students who participated in TCs felt more satisfied and felt that they were heard better by their group compared to students in the MSGs., no evidence was found to support the effectiveness of TCs in improving adjustment to college life, academic success, and commitment to college. Along with the study limitations, future research and service implications regarding the use of TCs among Alaska Native college students -- and among Alaska Native Peoples more generally -- are discussed.
    • Concurrent Validation Of Alaska's Juvenile Justice Suicide Risk Screening Measure

      Gonzales, Jaymes; Boeckmann, Robert; Allen, James; Gonzalez, Vivian; Sandberg, Patricia (2012)
      Incarcerated youth face elevated rates of mental health problems and are at greater risk for suicide. The Alaska Division of Juvenile Justice (AKDJJ) uses the Mental Health/Suicide Screening (MHSS) measure to screen incoming youth for mental health problems and current suicide risk. This research examined the concurrent validity of the MHSS, exploring the relationships of the MHSS with the Beck Depression Inventory 2nd Edition (BDI-II; Beck, Steer, & Brown, 1996) and a measure of current suicidal ideation, the Positive and Negative Suicidal Ideation Inventory (PANSI; Osman, Guiterrez, Kopper, Barrios, & Chiros, 1998b). Statistically significant correlations were found between the MHSS, BDI-II, and negative ideation subscale of the PANSI; however, the effect sizes were not large enough to suggest concurrent validation within the study sample or to advise the continued use of the MHSS as a suicide risk measure. Future research directions and practical implications are provided.
    • Cultural and linguistic sensitivity in assessment tools: an adaptation of the drinkers inventory of consequences for Alaska Natives

      Cantil, Tony (2002-12)
      The purpose of this study was to determine the validity of a new assessment tool for Alaska Native clients with alcoholism. A sample of 23 Yup'ik clients at a regional treatment center were interviewed using the Drinker Inventory of Consequences for Alaska Natives (DrInC-AN), an adaption of the Drinker Inventory of Consequence (DrInC), the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT) and the Yup'ik Cultural Practices and Traditions (YCPT). These clients were selected, on a voluntary basis during the intake interview to the treatment center. Historically, assessment tools in alcoholism have not been culturally or linguistically sensitive to Alaska Native and Native American clientele. This study investigated the reliability and validity of the DrInC-AN in the assessment of severity of negative consequences of alcholol use among Alaska Natives.
    • Culturally-based primary prevention: an Alaskan native dance group

      Culp, Renée Irene (2005-08)
      This study investigated a culturally-based primary prevention program in Alaska. This program is a Native dance group that focuses on increasing the number of developmental assets within each member. Previous research has indicated that involvement in activities, such as the program described, may work to instill developmental assets, decreasing the likeliness of youths engaging in risk behaviors and increasing engagement in healthy behaviors. Findings from this study did not support the notion that youths who participate in a culturally-based primary prevention program demonstrate more assets of clinical significance than those youths who do not participate in such a program. Further, specific internal (self-esteem) and external (positive adult role models) developmental assets did not appear to result in benefits for those youths participating in this culturally-based primary prevention program. While it is evident that, within the scope of the present study, no apparent benefits for increasing developmental assets were found, this research highlights that the youths within this sample were remarkably high functioning. Considering these findings, it may be beneficial to first investigate factors that are contributing to the balance and wellness in the lives of these particular youths. Such factors may indeed encompass the essence of culturally-based primary prevention.
    • Dance/movement therapy (DMT) for cancer survivors and caregivers in Fairbanks, Alaska

      Sharma, Dinghy Kristine B.; Lopez, Ellen D. S.; Rivkin, Inna D.; Swift, Joshua K.; Goodill, Sharon W. (2016-08)
      Worldwide, the burden of cancer continues to grow and impact the quality of life of patients, their families, and caregivers. Aside from the physical effects and financial costs of cancer and its treatment, a significant portion of cancer patients and their caregivers experience emotional, social, and psychological distress throughout the trajectory of their illness and extending to long-term survivorship. Despite medical advances in cancer treatment, a cancer diagnosis is still often considered to be synonymous with death, pain, and suffering. It has been established that engaging in the creative arts could promote quality of life (QOL) especially for those suffering from chronic illnesses such as cancer. Specifically, studies on dance/movement therapy (DMT) have indicated its efficacy as a complementary and holistic intervention in providing social support, decreasing fatigue and stress, increasing mobility, and enhancing overall wellbeing of cancer survivors. Results from a pilot DMT study that explored the cultural suitability, feasibility, and benefits of using DMT in the post-treatment QOL of Alaska Native cancer survivors indicated positive impacts on participants' mobility, body awareness, emotional expression, self-care, and wellbeing. Participants from the pilot study highlighted the need for providing DMT in the community and opening the DMT group to both cancer survivors and caregivers. This suggestion was in consideration of the lack of support groups available to both cancer survivors and caregivers that focus on cancer survivorship and promotion of quality of life. Existing locally available cancer support groups emphasize cancer education but are limited in meeting the psycho-social, emotional and physical needs of both cancer survivors and caregivers. The encouraging results and feedback from participants not only supported existing studies on DMT's cross-cultural benefits in promoting QOL among cancer survivors but also provided the rationale for a larger dissertation study for survivors and caregivers in Fairbanks, Alaska. It was in this context that DMT's significance in increased survivorship and QOL among cancer survivors and caregivers in Alaska was examined. The study employed a sequential, mixed methods small-N design in investigating the therapeutic benefits of DMT among cancer survivors and caregivers (N = 16) in a practice-based setting in Fairbanks, Alaska. Adhering to the principles of community-based partnership research (CBPR), the study established a collaborative partnership with the Fairbanks Memorial Hospital as it piloted a 12- week, open DMT group intervention for cancer survivors and caregivers. The study was conducted in two phases: Phase 1: DMT Intervention (12 weeks) and Phase 2: Follow-up and Findings Meeting (3 months after the last offered DMT session), which assessed DMT’s lasting effects on participants. Quantitative and qualitative data were employed to examine DMT’s effects on participant’s mental health functioning, body awareness, subjective QOL, and sense of group cohesiveness and engagement with the DMT group. Quantitative findings indicated significant improvements in participants’ mental health functioning with a moderate effect size after participation in the DMT program. Although no significant pre- to post-change was found on participants’ subjective QOL, cancer survivors reported significantly better QOL (social, emotional and functional wellbeing) at the three-month follow-up, suggesting that DMT can offer late, but possibly lasting, positive changes. Additionally, participants’ ability for selfregulation and use of avoidance as a coping tool for pain were found to increase after their DMT participation. No significant changes were noted in participants’ level of cohesion with the DMT group. However, qualitative findings indicate that participants found that the DMT program was extremely beneficial in promoting their physical, psychological, social and spiritual wellbeing and expressed overall strong positive feelings toward their DMT group. Implications for research and clinic practice were discussed as informed by the study’s strengths and limitations. One the study’s strengths is its adherence to the principles of community-based participatory research (CBPR) as an over-arching framework in guiding all aspects of the research process. By establishing a collaborative partnership between the UAF academic community and the local community hospital (Fairbanks Memorial Hospital), this study was able to build on the community’s strengths and resources in an effort to help promote cancer survivorship for cancer survivors and caregivers. Future recommendations include further strengthening collaborative community partnerships with a larger, DMT confirmatory study using a Randomized Control Trial (RCT) design, while integrating a mixed-methods approach. Implementing these strategies would help establish DMT’s efficacy as a holistic and ecologically valid intervention for cancer survivors and caregivers in Fairbanks, Alaska.
    • Developing a patient-driven, substantive definition of office-based opioid treatment success

      Hewell, Valerie Marie; Gonzalez, Vivian M.; Lopez, Ellen D. S.; Fitterling, James; Rivkin, Inna (2016-08)
      Patients in office-based opioid treatments’ definitions of treatment success and recovery are not well understood. This is important because traditional ways of defining and measuring success focus on consumption, and usually abstinence. This definition does not encompass medication-assisted treatment, such as office-based opioid treatment, which do not necessitate abstinence. Moreover, there is evidence to support the efficacy of office-based opioid treatment in reducing the harm associated with opioid misuse, which is important as opioid misuse has increased and leads to serious consequences for individuals, families, and society. To address this gap in the literature, using a qualitative design, this dissertation explored patients’ ideas on defining office-based opioid treatment success, recovery, facilitators and barriers to treatment success, and recommendations for measuring success. This was achieved by conducting a focus group with seven participants and subsequent interviews with seven participants, two of whom were also in the focus group, for a total of 12 office-based opioid treatment patients in rural Alaska. Grounded theory, directed content analysis, and a community-based participatory research approach were used to collect and analyze focus group and interview data. Findings suggest that patients’ definitions of office-based opioid treatment success extend beyond consumption and include four main themes: functioning, such as contributing to society and living a functional lifestyle; accomplishing, such as reappraising life goals and having an intrinsic belief that one can accomplish success; relationships, such as family, friendships, and restoring relationships; and psychological factors, such as emotional wellbeing and addiction. Recovery was understood as a construct that was related to success, yet distinct, and involved healing and growth, a process, and a recovery attitude. Facilitators and barriers to treatment success include treatment factors, contextual factors, and psychological factors. Participants also recommended measuring success in a way that is individualized and flexible. This study suggests that providers should take a multifaceted and patient-driven approach when attempting to define and measure office-based opioid treatment success. Specifically, findings suggest that patients experience success in office-based opioid treatment in ways that extend beyond substance consumption. Findings also suggest that contextual barriers, such as availability and accessibility of treatment, should be addressed on a systemic level.
    • Developing treatment fidelity measures in a wraparound program for severely emotionally disturbed children using the child and adolescent needs and strengths tool

      Sliefert, David (2002-08)
      This study utilized the strength-based components of the Child and Adolescent Needs and Strengths (CANS) assessment as a basis for creating the Treatment Fidelity Indicator (TFI). With a particular focus on strengths, this study initiated the development of a measure to assist agencies in recognizing whether each of the 19 strength-based dimensions were found in the case record. Seven cases were evaluated using two raters. Reliability was examined using the Cohen's kappa and memoing of the process. The growing expectations placed on agencies to provide proven treatment strategies and the limitations of resources available are challenges for quality conscious organizations. Increasing emphasis to integrate individual and family strengths into the assessment process to improve treatment outcomes has been encouraged ... TFI is being developed to build upon the successes of CANS and extend its functionality to include measuring the fidelity of treatment delivery.
    • Differences in reasons for living between Alaska Native and Euro-American college students

      Simmons, Teisha Marie (2003-05)
      The purpose of this study was to explore the differences in reasons for living between Alaska Native and Euro-American college students, to determine which are important as protective factors against suicide for these two groups. A sample of 106 students at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, matched on age, sex, race, marital status, and recent suicide or suicide attempt by a family member or friend, were surveyed using a demographic instrument, the College Students Reasons for Living Inventory, and the Orthogonal Cultural Identification Scale. Results appear to indicate that Alaska Native college students report more reasons for living than Euro-American students.
    • Eating disorder symptomatology among Alaska Native/American Indian and caucasian female university students in the extreme North

      Saunders, Miranda R. (2004-05)
      The purpose of this study was to explore differences in eating disorder symptomatology among a matched sample of 100 Alaska Native/American Indian and Caucasian female university students, using a demographic instrument and the Eating Attitudes Test (EAT-26). Four (8.0%) Native participants and ten (20.0%) Caucasian participants met or exceeded the EAT-26 cutoff score indicative of clinically significant eating disorder symptomatology. There were no significant differences found among the Native and Caucasian participants with regard to eating disorder symptomatology. Rather, eating disorder symptomatology was present in both Native and Caucasian female college students at rates similar to that of previous studies.
    • The effects of volitional laughter on positive and negative affect and depressive symptoms

      Krauss, Gregory W. (1997-05)
      The effects of volitional laughter on positive affect, negative affect, and day-to-day depressive symptoms among college students were investigated utilizing a non-equivalent control group design. The laughter group (n = 23) participated in daily volitional laughter treatments (three treatments of 30 seconds each) while the control group (n = 40) received no treatment. Both groups were pre- and post-tested using the PANAS (Positive And Negative Affect Schedule) and the CES-D (Center for Epidemiological Studies -Depression Inventory). A significant difference was found for the laughter group in negative affect. An additional post-hoc analysis, after eliminating a group of subjects from the control group, indicated a significant difference for the volitional laughter treatment group in increasing positive affect. No significant difference in depressive symptoms was detected.
    • Explorations of intergenerational healing, resilience, and post-traumatic growth by helpers and healers on the Blackfeet Nation

      Hoyt, Tyler J.; Gifford, Valerie M.; Whipple, Jason; Topkok, Sean; David, Eric John (2019-12)
      This project explored intergenerational healing, resilience, and post-traumatic growth within the context of the Blackfeet Nation in Montana, the roles of helpers and healers in this setting, and community experiences of familial trauma and the idiosyncratic healing and resilience processes according to their worldview. The central goal of this study was to provide a contemporary public narrative surrounding healing and resilience as these topics related to historical and intergenerational trauma in this specific community. This exploratory study was composed of the narratives of 14 co-participants working as helpers and healers on the Blackfeet Nation. Indigenous narrative and a cosmic relationality were honored and a phenomenological method of Gadamerian hermeneutics was utilized. Seven central themes arose in the process of data analysis including Spirituality, Trauma, Healing, Resilience, Helping Role, Community, and Blackfeet Worldview. Co-participants explored contemporary experiences of collective intergenerational trauma of those they served as well as personal and familial processes of healing and resilience. The centrality of spirituality, cultural immersion and personal cultural identity were discussed as aspects of intergenerational healing and resilience. A holistic and culturally idiosyncratic understanding of personal and intergenerational healing was emphasized including spiritual, emotional, mental, and physical modes of healing. Patterns of healing experienced collectively and synergistically within family systems and between community members were also identified.
    • Factors Contributing To Weight Gain Among College Freshman And Beyond

      Chipp, Cody L.; Brems, Christiane; Johnson, Mark; Metzger, Jesse; Rivkin, Inna (2012)
      Background: Linked with a higher risk of life threatening illnesses, obesity in the United States has become an epidemic, with a prevalence rate of overweight and obese adults of nearly 68%. Obesity rates have accelerated over the past two decades and one crucial developmental period for weight gain is among emerging adults attending college. Using an explanatory mixed-method design, this study examined contributing factors to weight gain among college students, including eliciting university stakeholders' perceptions of supports and barriers to exercising and healthy eating among students. Method: Data collection for the quantitative phase of the study consisted of two waves, baseline and 2-year follow-up. Students completed psychosocial and anthropometric measures (height, weight, and body fat percentage). Data collected for the qualitative phase of the study consisted of key informant interviews with university administrators (n=15) and seven student focus groups (n=34 students). Qualitative analyses were conducted with NVivo software and multiple coders, using a grounded theory approach to elicit major themes. Results: Students gained 1.5lbs (p>.05), with 34% of participants gaining over 5 lbs and 17% over 10 lbs. Participants who gained weight were men, ate more calories from sweets or desserts, and consumed fewer calories from fats. Increase in calories from desserts or sweets increased odds of weight gain (OR=1.075, CI=1.01-1.14) and body fat (OR=1.106, CI=1.036-1.181). Contextualizing the quantitative findings, students and administrators identified several themes that support healthy living, including access to nutritious food and physical amenities. Both groups also identified barriers, including easy access to high-calorie foods, limited recreation facilities, and policy challenges. Administrators spoke of extant health promotion efforts; however, students did not perceive active health promotion initiatives on campus. Conclusions: Dietary habits were identified drivers of weight gain among students. Extant campus supports and barriers to exercise and healthy eating among students were equally identified by students and administrators with great reliability. Implications for future health promotion efforts, food availability, recreation, and physical amenities are discussed in the context of clears sets of recommendations for stakeholder groups. Future research should explore specific dietary foods that are increasing weight and develop targeted preventions/interventions for individuals at risk.
    • Factors that contribute to rural provider retention, service utilization, and engagement in mentorship by cultural experts

      Gifford, Valerie M.; Rivkin, Inna; Lower, Timothy; Koverola, Catherine; Brems, Christiane (2012-05)
      A substantial amount of time, money, and other resources are expended on recruiting behavioral health providers to fill vacant positions in rural Alaska. This exhaustive drain on resources is perpetual due to the high turnover rates of providers. This exploratory qualitative study utilized grounded theory methodology to investigate personal qualities of providers and other factors contributing to long-term retention of providers relocating to Alaska's Bering Strait Region from elsewhere, community members utilizing the provider's services, and the provider's engagement in cultural mentorship to facilitate the integration of culture into their practice. Furthermore, factors contributing to local provider retention were examined. Key informant interviews were conducted with 21 healthcare providers living and working in the region long-term. A theory emerged that connected provider retention to community member service utilization and cultural mentorship. Results indicated that providers who are open, willing to learn, good listeners, calm, friendly, respectful, flexible, compassionate, genuine and possess a sense of humor, humility, and ability to refrain from imposing personal values, beliefs and worldviews upon others are a good fit for living and work in rural Alaska. Such qualities facilitate a provider achieving professional and personal satisfaction through building relationships and creating opportunities for cultural mentorship, professional support, and social support. These opportunities enhance the delivery of quality services that are culturally appropriate and well-utilized by community members, which, in turn, increase provider satisfaction and retention. Recommendations are made to healthcare organizations regarding recruitment and retention strategies. Recruitment strategies include careful screening of potential applications for specific qualities and enlisting local community members and students into the healthcare field. Retention strategies include professional support by way of a comprehensive orientation program, clinical supervision, cultural mentorship, and continuing education training opportunities that focus on cultural competency. Recommendations for retention of local providers include professional development incentives and opportunities that qualify local providers for positions typically held by outside providers.
    • Gender Of Perpetrator, Gender Of Victim, And Relationship Between Perpetrator And Victim As Factors Influencing How Adults View Coercive Sexual Behavior In Childhood

      Bosek, Rebecca Lynn; Connor, Bill; Risley, Todd (2002)
      The sexual abuse of children by adults is a serious social problem. Some sexually abused children become sexually abusive toward others. This is sometimes called coercive sexual behavior, and little is known about how adults view these acts. A better understanding of how adults view coercive sexual behavior between children is critical due to the harm it causes victims, perpetrators, and society. Also, parents are typically held legally responsible for their minor children, and it is their responsibility to intervene in this type of behavior. Three hundred and eighty-five college students participated in a study that examined descriptions of coercive sexual behavior between elementary school-aged children. This study used a 2 x 2 x 2 factorial design to examine how gender of a child perpetrator, gender of a child victim, and relationship between a child perpetrator and child victim (peer or sibling) influence how adults view coercive sexual behavior in childhood. Participants read one of eight vignettes describing an incident of coercive sexual behavior between two children and answered a twenty-eight-item questionnaire based on it. Data was analyzed using correlation coefficients, factor analysis, and multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA). Findings from the present study suggest that the gender of the children and the relationship between them are factors influencing how adults view coercive sexual behavior in childhood.
    • Healing from within: the wellness team concept

      Burnham, Violet (2006-08)
      This project was created to chronicle one community's effort to stem the tide of alcohol abuse and address issues of trauma that had plagued the community for many years despite services provided by the State. It is the story of a group of people who came together despite differences to form a team of service providers that would begin a journey of healing for themselves and the community. The results are coming slowly, but indicate less drinking, less tolerance for any form of abuse, and a healthier lifestyle. Although the journey has not ended, there are many more indicators showing that the community is taking responsibility for their problems. The team members as well choose a healthier lifestyle maintaining sobriety, eating healthier, and exercising regularly.
    • Historical trauma and approaches to healing among Choctaw American Indians

      Woods, Ashley; Rivkin, Inna; Gifford, Valerie; Lardon, Ce'cile; David, E.J.R. (2018-08)
      Native Americans have experienced a number of historically traumatic events that are believed to contribute to the development of behavioral health symptoms that negatively affect Native American quality of life across generations. Despite the trajectory of trauma experienced in some Native American communities, Native Americans exhibit extraordinary resilience and cultural strengths. Stress and coping models have been developed to explain how historical trauma is related to current health disparities among Native Americans and how enculturation may serve as a buffer against the negative effects of historical trauma. However, these models apply meta-theories to understanding historical trauma rather than tribally specific conceptualizations of historical trauma and historical trauma responses. Therefore, it is important to understand tribally specific manifestations of historical trauma so that intervention and prevention efforts are culturally appropriate. Choctaws are one of the largest Native American groups in the United States. They have experienced a history of forced removal and relocation from traditional homelands, yet the Choctaw Nation itself exhibits continuous growth and success as a tribe. This study used a qualitative, phenomenological, and community based participatory research (CBPR) approach to explore how Oklahoma Choctaw American Indians experience historical trauma and define well-being and enculturation. Interviews and focus groups were conducted with Choctaw American Indians in three different age categories 18-29; 30-49; and 50 and over to examine generational differences in how concepts of historical trauma, enculturation, and well-being are conceptualized. The theoretical construct of historical trauma was informed by themes of assimilation and colonization; resurgence of the Choctaw identity; awareness of historical losses and affective responses; forms of coping; current barriers to accessing Choctaw Nation services; and varying degrees of cultural involvement among tribal members. The theoretical construct of well-being was described in terms of physical health, faith, family, and culture. The theoretical construct of enculturation included pride in heritage, having Choctaw blood, being involved, and social connectedness. Choctaw participants reported social problems related to substance abuse and a sense of diminishing social connectedness to other tribal members. Recommendations on how to upscale behavioral health treatment and strengthen community ties are described. Adapted measures of historical trauma and enculturation for use in future research endeavors with Oklahoma Choctaw American Indians are also provided.
    • A humble guest: a phenomenological exploration of success and competence in rural Alaskan mental health care

      Herman, Daniel John; Gifford, Valerie M.; Whipple, Jason; David, Eric John; Swift, Joshua (2018-12)
      Objective: Rural communities in Alaska face a long list of mental health disparities that are exacerbated by the other challenging factors inherent within the rural context. Rural Alaskan mental health care providers are faced with the tremendous task of providing clinically and culturally competent care to underserved and marginalized populations, with limited personal and professional resources, all while balancing the needs of the community, their own personal boundaries, and the pressure of remaining accountable to the larger system of professional ethics and guidelines. The aim of this study was to explore, identify, and understand from the perspective of rural Alaskan providers what it means to be successful and competent mental health care providers in rural Alaska. The ultimate goal of this study was to develop a deeper understanding of what being successful and competent means from the perspective of providers who have been successful in rural Alaskan practice. Methods: This study utilized an exploratory qualitative methodology grounded in the interpretive/constructivist paradigm. Semi-structured interviews were used to explore the perspectives of 12 mental health providers who have practiced successfully and competently with rural Alaskan patients. Furthermore, a phenomenological-hermeneutic approach was applied in order to work collaboratively with participants to reach a deeper understanding of mental health care success and competence in a rural Alaskan context. Results: Ten contextual themes and 27 subthemes emerged from the interviews that illuminate the experience of success and competence as experienced by rural Alaskan mental health care providers. The implications of this study serve to deepen the current understanding of what it means to practice in rural Alaska with communities and Indigenous people. Furthermore, the findings provide a culture and context specific understanding of success and competence that will help current providers, employers, and communities to better serve rural Alaskan people. The findings contribute to the literature by promoting a salient perspective of practice that is within a context of mental health that is generally disregarded, overlooked, and rarely considered.