Paper #1 evaluates the psychometrics of three important constructs - cultural identity, ethnic pride, and perceived discrimination - and validates them against measures of self-esteem and depression. This study used survey data (2016-2017) from a large sample of 7-12 grade AI students attending 37 schools on or near reservations (n=3851). Two-factor measures for cultural identification (AI way of life-WOL- and AI traditional activities-TA) and for ethnic pride (social ethnic pride-SEP and affective ethnic pride- AEP) and one measure of discrimination (perceived peer discrimination-PPD) demonstrated construct validity.
Paper #2 analyzes how the validated measures in paper #1 are related to 30-day and lifetime substance use measures. Unsurprisingly, PPD was a risk-factor for both 30-day and lifetime use across all substances. AI-WOL was protective against lifetime alcohol and cannabis use while AI-TA was a risk factor for both lifetime and 30-day cannabis use. Neither SEP or AEP were related to lifetime use of any substance, though AEP was protective for 30-day measures. These results underscore the complexity inherent in the relationship between cultural and ethnic measures and substance use in AI youth.
Paper #3 used data from 7thgraders attending schools on five reservations located in the Northern Plains and Southwest to estimate relationships between affective ethnic pride (AEP) and both future orientation (FO) and self-determination (SD) and whether intentions to use alcohol and cannabis are predicted by these variables. Results showed that AEP positively predicted FO and SD (p<.001) and that there were indirect effects of AEP on intentions to drink alcohol, get drunk, and use cannabis in the last 3 months but no direct effects. FO and SD were both associated with lower intentions to get drunk and to use cannabis in the next 3 months, thus indicating their potential as targets in substance use prevention.
After presenting all papers, we will encourage and lead open discussion of these findings and their prevention implications.