Impact of exposure to violence, depression, post-traumatic stress, substance abuse and health care utilization within two Native American communities

The Foundation's initiative, New Connections: Bringing Diversity to RWJF Grantmaking and Increasing Secondary Data Analyses, was designed to address needs for data that can inform the Foundation's program planning or measure progress toward its strategic objectives.American Indian communities provide dramatic illustrations of both risk and remarkable resilience. Widespread poverty as well as disproportionate exposure to trauma has helped to create some of the harshest living conditions facing any ethnic group in the United States. Much of the scientific literature has focused upon resultant problems. However, many American Indians faced with significant challenges remain resilient. Sociocultural resources such as spirituality, communal support, and ethnic identity are frequently identified resiliency factors. Domestic violence is a daily reality facing many American Indian families. American Indians are more than twice as likely to be victims of violent crime (U.S. DOJ, 1999). Trauma and exposure to violence are frequently cited antecedents to the psychological suffering observed within American Indian communities. Recent findings have begun to document the potential importance of sociocultural factors to American Indian mental health. Garroutte, et al. (2003), found that higher levels of cultural spiritual orientation were related to a reduced prevalence of attempted suicide among American Indians. In addition, sociocultural resources may be associated with help-seeking behaviors and recent findings indicate increased reliance upon traditional healing methods for psychiatric health problems (Novins, 2004). The purpose of this project is the secondary data analysis of the American Indian Service Utilization, Risk and Protective Factors Project, a population-based epidemiological study of mental health in two large American Indian reservation communities. This direct examination will provide important elucidation of the relationships between sociocultural resources, violence, psychiatric status, and help-seeking within an underserved population.

Grant Details

Amount Awarded $54,779.00

Awarded on: 5/8/2007

Time frame: 5/15/2007 - 7/31/2009

Grant Number: 61857


University of Colorado at Denver and Health Sciences Center

4300 East 9th Avenue
Denver, 80262-0001

Annjeanette E. Belcourt-Dittloff
Project Director