Submitted to: American Psychological Association Meeting
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/15/2008
Publication Date: 8/20/2008
Citation: Gray, J.S., Penland, J.G., Speaker, K.K., Green, J., Martin, E., Lambert, P.L., Wilson, E.L., Gonzalez, J. 2008. Health and Quality of Life in Northern Plains Indians [abstract]. Annual Meeting of Psychological Association. Meeting abstracts will be published.
Technical Abstract: Quality of life and standard of living are consistently depicted as indigent among American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) populations. American Indians (AI) are among the most heterogeneous and impoverished ethnic groups in the U.S.,have the highest per capita suicide rate at 247% of the national average overall, and among 15-34 years olds, is two times the national average (CDC, 2007; HIS, 200; Whitbeck et al., 2006). Few studies have examined the intersection of the value of one’s life and aspects of psychological and physical functioning, within the American Indian/Alaska Native population. Related AI/AN mental health prevalence rates (e.g., depression) are generally not established within the population due to cultural variability. In a nationally recognized study of over three thousand 7.2% men and 14.3% women were depressed over their lifetime (Beals et al., 2005). Another national study, examining depression and diabetes, American Indians were identified as the ethnic group having the highest prevalence rates of major depression (27.8%) (Li et al, 2007). The discrepancy in depression prevalence rates likely reflects the potential differences related to the cultural distinctions between the 560 Federally recognized tribes and villages in the U.S. (Bureau of Indian Affairs, 2007). Beals and colleagues (2003) suggest utilizing smaller cultural samples to develop normative data that can contribute to collective knowledge of the prevalence of mental disorders among American Indians/Alaska Natives. Limited research has focused on the experiences of American Indians/Alaska Natives perspectives of their quality of life, as assessed by what is regarded as important to AI/AN populations. The degree of satisfaction individuals have about the sixteen dimensions of the quality of life (QQIL), depression (BDI-11), and other demographic variables (e.g., age, gender, education, and income) are analyzed.