Abstract: Measuring Key Cultural Constructs for American Indian Youth (Society for Prevention Research 27th Annual Meeting)

595 Measuring Key Cultural Constructs for American Indian Youth

Friday, May 31, 2019
Seacliff A (Hyatt Regency San Francisco)
* noted as presenting author
Meghan Crabtree, PhD, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO
Randall Craig Swaim, PhD, Senior Research Scientist, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO
Linda Stanley, PhD, Senior Research Scientist, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO
Introduction: Appropriate and useful measures for reservation-dwelling American Indian (AI) youth are essential to fully understand both the risks and strengths of this vulnerable group, especially as they relate to substance use. Key variables that require more thorough investigation are cultural identity, ethnic pride, and perceived discrimination. While each of these has been investigated in limited local samples, none has been evaluated in a population-based sample. This study evaluates the psychometric properties of these constructs and validates them against measures of self-esteem and depression.

Methods: 1893 female and 1735 male 7-12th grade AI students from 37 schools on or near reservations completed surveys during the 2016-2017 school years. With the sample split, EFA’s were conducted on the three target variables, followed by CFA’s, with tests for configural, metric, and scalar invariance across genders. The final CFA models were used to evaluate construct validity with structural relations to self-esteem and depression.

Results: EFA results indicated that cultural identification was best represented by four factors (AI traditions and way of life, non-AI traditions and way of life), ethnic pride by two factors (social pride and affective pride), and perceived discrimination by two factors (peer discrimination and adult discrimination). Due to EFA item instability in the perceived adult discrimination sub-factor of the perceived discrimination variable across genders, only the items tapping peer discrimination were retained for confirmatory and validation analysis. CFA results supported measurement invariance across genders for all latent variables. A structural model indicated that each of the targeted variables was associated with self-esteem and depression in the predicted directions, though the size of the associated varied across factors.

Conclusions: Two-factor measures for cultural identification, ethnic pride, and a one-factor measure of perceived peer discrimination were determined to be psychometrically sound and invariant across male and female American Indian students. Moreover, the identity-relevant variables demonstrated construct validity using a population-based sample of AI 7-12th grade students. Each of these identity-relevant factors would be useful in models of substance use etiology in at-risk AI youth.