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Trauma and suicide behaviour histories among a Canadian indigenous population: An empirical exploration of the potential role of Canada's residential school system

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... For example, cultural trauma has sociological roots and refers to wounding experienced in the collective memory of a community (Sztompka, 2000). Meanwhile, historical trauma broadens the concept of IGT by emphasizing cultural and cumulative historical loss that extends beyond a singular large-scale event (Elias et al., 2012;Whitbeck et al., 2004). ...
... The collective dimension involved exposure to significant historical events experienced by a cultural group, such as Japanese American internment camps (Nagata & Cheng, 2003), the 1948 Nakba (Atallah, 2017), the Holodomor genocide (Bezo & Maggi, 2015), and the Armenian genocide (Karenian et al., 2011), or to continuous events that did not have a distinct end point, such as colonial oppression (Whitbeck et al., 2004). The latter was identified as a form of historical trauma with a socio-cultural emphasis that impacted multiple generations, both individually and systemically, including families, communities, and cultures (Elias et al., 2012). Studies that had a sociocultural emphasis utilized the historical trauma construct. ...
... Studies that had a collective emphasis adhered to a flexible criterion for the inclusion of participants in the study. It was assumed that the historical association or exposure to these events warranted inclusion in the study, such as attendance at Residential Schools (Ehlers et al., 2013;Elias et al., 2012;Pearce et al., 2008) or having lived through the Khmer Rouge regime (Lin & Suyemoto, 2016). These studies also determined that being part of a subgroup itself may predispose someone as having experienced trauma, such as being a refugee (Vaage et al., 2011) or a child soldier (Song et al., 2014). ...
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It has been over 20 years since the publication of Danieli’s (1998) International Handbook of Multigenerational Legacies of Trauma, a seminal cross-cultural compilation examining the generational effects of mass trauma and intergenerational trauma (IGT). In the years since this book appeared, research on IGT has continued to be applied to many cultural groups, including those who have survived the Indian Residential Schools, the Khmer Rouge regime, or the Rwandan genocide. Previous reviews of IGT research have focused mainly on survivors of the Holocaust, which limits the cross-cultural application of this field of study. The purpose of this article is to provide a scoping review of scholarship published between 1999 and 2019 that aims to understand how IGT has been studied in cross-cultural applications. Overall, 29 articles were identified and reviewed. In light of the fact that cross-cultural perspectives on IGT are still emerging (Sirikantraporn & Green, 2016), the methodology and the cultural considerations described in this review can inform future cross-cultural IGT research.
... 28 For example, the Indian residential school system has posed significant and ongoing intergenerational effects on the mental health of Indigenous families, contributing to higher rates of child abuse, depressive symptoms, and suicidal thoughts. [35][36][37] In the past, the Canadian government was actively involved in the marginalization of Indigenous peoples, not only through the enactment of residential schools, but also by enforcing policies that negatively impacted Indigenous socioeconomic conditions, culture, traditional healing practices, and access to healthcare services. 28 Therefore, elevated rates of TBI and TSCI in Indigenous communities need to be studied by looking beyond proximate causes of alcohol consumption and drug use, by assessing the upstream factors that contribute to violence. ...
... 61,62 Addressing the higher rates of violence in Indigenous communities is especially challenging as the underlying problems are vast and interrelated, including low educational attainment, high unemployment rates, and high rates of mental health problems, largely attributable to intergenerational trauma. 29,[34][35][36][37] In addition to addressing substance abuse and violence, the incidence of neurotrauma can be reduced by tackling infrastructure problems in certain Indigenous communities. Issues concerning infrastructure are implicated in the higher rates of motor vehicle accidents on reserves, difficulties for patients recovering post-injury, and may contribute to increased fall risk in this population. ...
... The abduction of Indigenous children to residential schools and the prohibition of Indigenous cultural practices has led to intergenerational trauma that continues to have direct and indirect impacts on health. 28,[35][36][37] Issues such as violence, alcohol and drug abuse, infrastructural problems, and road safety in Indigenous communities are often deeply rooted in a historical context. The ...
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Indigenous peoples of Canada are disproportionately affected by neurotrauma, which includes traumatic brain injury and traumatic spinal cord injury. Multiple factors, often grounded in the cultural assimilation and colonization of Indigenous peoples, contribute to the health disparities experienced by this population today. This review highlights key factors contributing to increased neurotrauma burden in Indigenous populations, with a focus on the social determinants of health. Specifically, issues pertaining to violence, substance abuse, and infrastructural challenges in Indigenous communities are discussed throughout this review. Additionally, current initiatives addressing neurotrauma burden are discussed in terms of prevention and treatment needs of Indigenous communities. The article concludes with comments on strategies to address issues of inequality and inequity which persist within Indigenous populations.
... High rates of suicide, depression, substance abuse, and violence are prevalent among Indigenous people globally (Black et al., 2015;Kisely et al., 2017;Pan American Health Organization, 2016;Pollock, Naicker, Loro, Mulay, & Colman, 2018). Historical displacement from tribal lands, treaty abuse, residential school attendance, and destruction of families have contributed to Indigenous mental health challenges, along with other adverse intergenerational biological consequences, economic disparity, and geographical isolation (Brave Heart & DeBruyn, 1998;Brown, Dickerson, & D'Amico, 2016;Duran & Duran, 1995;Moon--Riley, Copeland, Metz, & Currie, 2019;Elias et al., 2012). ...
... Indigenous people-defined on page eight-are especially vulnerable to mental health problems (Carlson, Farrelly, Frazer, & Borthwick, 2015;Elias et al., 2012;Stewart, 2008). After a systematic review that included 99 studies examining suicide rates among Indigenous people across 30 countries and territories, Pollock et al. (2018) found "evidence of suicide rate parity between Indigenous and non-Indigenous populations in some contexts, while elsewhere rates were more than 20 times higher among Indigenous peoples" (p. 1). ...
... Based on Fig. 3, the "12 to 25" and "youth" categories display the highest number of participants across the studies, however only 37% (n = 13) of the studies exclusively focus on the Indigenous youth population. This is particularly surprising considering that Indigenous youth are especially vulnerable to mental health problems (The Elders' Report, 2014; Elias et al., 2012;Stewart, 2008). For example, "suicide rates for Inuit youth are among the highest in the world, at 11 times the national average" (Centre for Suicide Prevention, 2013; Statistics section), and alcohol consumption rates are higher among American Indian/Alaska Native youth than that of national rates (Stanley et al., 2014). ...
Article
Mental health issues in Indigenous communities have been increasingly documented by media, research, and government reports. High rates of suicide, depression, and substance abuse are prevalent among Indigenous people, especially youth. Research has reported that many Indigenous communities have adopted and are keen to adopt digital technologies, which have shown potential to provide e-mental health (eMH) resources for Indigenous people. By conducting a systematic literature review, this article examines the impact of Indigenous people's interactions with digital media on their mental health and wellbeing. The twenty-seven empirical studies included in this review were conducted with Indigenous participants primarily across four countries. We analyzed the studies' research objectives and respective instruments to measure the impact of an array of digital technologies adopted by Indigenous people for their mental health needs or used in Indigenous-specific eMH programs. This paper reports on themes found in the peer-reviewed literature, including Indigenous people and other stakeholders’ perspectives on eMH and the viability of its implementation. The findings suggest that digital technologies can be effective in aiding the provision and improvement of Indigenous mental health services, particularly when applying decolonizing, culturally appropriate approaches. This review provides insights for researchers, health professionals, and educators to develop and implement innovative eMH resources for Indigenous communities.
... Felsen & Erlich (1990) studied 25 second-generation Holocaust survivors and revealed that the descendants of survivors had lower self-esteem and higher rates of mental health disorders. Despite this valuable research, Elias et al., (2012) assert that the experience of Indigenous peoples differs from those of Holocaust survivors, in that the trauma experienced by Indigenous peoples has not been confined to a single, distinct, large event limited in time, but a staggered, systematic attack occurring over time. Furthermore, whereas the trauma experienced by Holocaust survivors has been acknowledged, the trauma of colonisation experienced by Australian Aboriginals is still largely unrecognised (Short, 2016;Yunupingu, 2015). ...
... Based on the responses of 2,953 Indigenous participants from 22 communities in Canada, the sizeable empirical study found an association between residential school attendees and the multigenerational experience of abuse and increased rates of suicide thoughts and attempts. Significantly, even for non-attendees, exposure to parents or grandparents who attended a residential school resulted in direct and indirect effects operating at the individual, family, and community level (Elias et al., 2012). ...
Thesis
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It took little time after initial British settlement to attempt to decimate the Australian Aboriginal population. While lawful killing has ceased, waves of colonial practices persisted, which has deeply entrenched disadvantage, and social, economic, and political injustice. This thesis is designed in collaboration with the remote Aboriginal community of Nauiyu, located in Daly River, Northern Territory, and is the first study of its kind to utilise the Indigenous research methodology of Dadirri on Country and with the people to which it belongs. Dadirri has been increasingly used as a research methodology, but never in its home of Daly River. The stories within this study represent the unique experiences of colonisation specific to the Nauiyu community, emphasising that the effects of colonisation are time and place dependent. A substantive theory of seeking empowerment by owning our truth telling, owning our solutions is presented in this thesis. The core category emerging from the data is owning our truth telling, owning our solutions, which describes how participants enable seeking empowerment. The core category consisted of three phases: ‘transforming trauma into story’, ‘looking back-moving forward’, and ‘healing the cultural wounding’. A number of conditions were also identified as enabling or inhibiting the practices of healing cultural wounding. The results indicate that truth telling is crucial to the process of reconciling the past to promote future healing for the Nauiyu community. A key finding of this study is the need for the development of an Aboriginal based, stand-alone healing centre that incorporates traditional healing practices, an Ancient University. Participants were clear this Ancient University should incorporate traditional healing practices that promote holistic healing from the experience of trauma; act to preserve and protect traditional healing practices, thereby ensuring the integrity of important traditional knowledge and secure it for the future; and provide education and training opportunities for both Aboriginal and non-Indigenous people.
... Many studies that examined these ACE variables within an Indigenous population did so in the context of examining consequences associated with individual or familial residential school attendance (Bombay et al., 2014;Dion et al., 2015;Hackett et al., 2016;Ross et al., 2015). Attending a residential school has been significantly correlated with reported abuse in an on-reserve First Nations population, with 39% of all participants (N = 2,935) reporting a history of abuse (Elias et al., 2012). Having a parent or grandparent who attended a residential school has been associated with a history of both suicidal attempts and ideation (Bombay et al., 2014). ...
... Having a parent or grandparent who attended a residential school has been associated with a history of both suicidal attempts and ideation (Bombay et al., 2014). For those individuals who reported they were negatively affected by their residential school experience, they were four times more likely to report a history of abuse (Elias et al., 2012). ...
... 12,13 In some (but not all) of these communities, youth face challenges stemming from high rates of poverty and unemployment exacerbating systemic and underlying issues such as the intergenerational traumatic effects of the residential school system. [14][15][16] In many Indigenous communities, mental health services for youth are inadequate owing to multiple factors including a lack of trained staff, a lack of programs addressing community needs in a culturally appropriate and safe manner, and difficulties in securing sustained funding. 17 There is little published documentation about young people who seek mental health services in Indigenous contexts and how they access care. ...
... Data from the First Nations sites indicate that services were used by all three age groups, that is, young adolescents (age 11-15), older teenagers (age [16][17][18][19][20] and young adults (age 21-29). As reported for other populations, more girls and women sought care than did boys and men. ...
Article
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Objective In many Indigenous communities, youth mental health services are inadequate. Six Indigenous communities participating in the ACCESS Open Minds (AOM) network implemented strategies to transform their youth mental health services. This report documents the demographic and clinical presentations of youth accessing AOM services at these Indigenous sites. Methods Four First Nations and two Inuit communities contributed to this study. Youth presenting for mental health services responded to a customized sociodemographic questionnaire and presenting concerns checklist, and scales assessing distress, self-rated health and mental health, and suicidal thoughts and behaviors. Results Combined data from the First Nations sites indicated that youth across the range of 11–29 years accessed services. More girls/women than boys/men accessed services; 17% identified as LBGTQ+. Most (83%) youth indicated having access to at least one reliable adult and getting along well with the people living with them. Twenty-five percent of youth reported difficulty meeting basic expenses. Kessler (K10) distress scores indicated that half likely had a moderate mental health problem and a fourth had severe problems. Fifty-five percent of youth rated their mental health as fair or poor, while 50% reported suicidal thoughts in the last month. Anxiety, stress, depression and sleep issues were the most common presenting problems. Fifty-one percent of youth either accessed services themselves or were referred by family members. AOM was the first mental health service accessed that year for 68% of youth. Conclusions This report is the first to present a demographic and clinical portrait of youth presenting at mental health services in multiple Indigenous settings in Canada. It illustrates the acceptability and feasibility of transforming youth mental health services using core principles tailored to meet communities’ unique needs, resources, and cultures, and evaluating these using a common protocol. Data obtained can be valuable in evaluating services and guiding future service design. Trial registration name and number at Clinicaltrials.gov: ACCESS Open Minds/ACCESS Esprits ouverts, ISRCTN23349893
... nonvictimized) societies and groups (Daud et al., 2005;Ehlers et al., 2013;Karenian et al., 2011;Wilk et al., 2017). Groups that experienced traumatic historical events also tend to have greater prevalence of child abuse (Montgomery et al., 2019), maladaptive parenting styles (Field et al., 2011;Hadar et al., 2020), domestic violence (Burnette, 2016;Ellington et al., 2015), suicide rates, and psychoactive substance addiction (Brave Heart, 2003;Brave Heart & DeBruyn, 1998;Elias et al., 2012;Guenzel & Struwe, 2020;Wiechelt et al., 2012). ...
... The decades-long organized violence against Kurds was consequential for their well-being. Similar to other collectively victimized groups (e.g., American Indian and Alaskan Native population, see Elias et al., 2012;Sotero, 2006), Kurds living in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq have high rates of suicide (Hanna & Ahmad, 2013). Likewise, in a qualitative study conducted among citizens of the region, Fritzemeyer (2017) demonstrated the presence of other transgenerational effects of trauma such as dysfunctional parenting behaviors, boundary-blurring, and dysphoric mood. ...
Article
Kurds have a long history of victimization and struggle for even the most basic rights. This is reflected in a widely shared belief, according to which they have “no friends but the mountains”. Such difficult history may have ongoing negative impact on mental health of present-day Kurds. This article investigates the relations between cognitive availability of historical trauma, historical trauma symptoms, and negative mental health outcomes in a sample of young Kurds who live in the Region of Kurdistan in Iraq. We also examined the potential protective role of strong identification as members of a national minority (Iraqi Kurds) and as members of an ethnic group (Kurdish people in general). The results showed that tragic group history is significantly related to negative mental health outcomes among young Iraqi Kurds. However, strong identification with other Iraqi Kurds (but not with Kurds in general) had an attenuating effect on the negative effect of historical trauma on present-day mental health.
... Colonial policies and systems such as residential schools continue to influence and produce poorer mental health outcomes for Indigenous peoples (Nelson and Wilson, 2017). Quantitative researchers have linked residential school to trauma, suicide attempts, and reduced socioeconomic status among those who attended and their descendants (Elias et al., 2012). Other researchers have indicated that Indigenous people who were involved in the child welfare system as children have higher rates of homelessness and mental health issues later in life (Roos et al., 2014). ...
Article
Indigenous peoples in Canada and other settler colonial nations experience barriers to healing in the health care system and their communities. Drawing on four sequential sharing circles and indepth interviews with 11 Indigenous men, this article shares the stories of Indigenous men and their healing journeys with the aim of improving culturally safe support in the community. In sharing their stories, these men identified coping with colonialism, as well as trauma and grief, as barriers in their healing journey. They also described finding strength in cultural role models, fathering, as well as ceremony and connecting to the land. We discuss the implications of these findings for service provision and decolonizing community health services.
... Residential school Survivors have reported isolation from family; verbal, emotional, and physical abuse; loss of cultural identity; and harsh discipline as the most common factors that contributed to their negative health and well-being (First Nations Information Governance Centre, 2018; Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada, 2015b). The harm and trauma perpetrated on Survivors has also been found to have intergenerational mental health impacts on their children and grandchildren, such as an increased risk of depression and higher rates of suicidal thoughts or attempts (Bombay et al., 2011;Elias et al., 2012). Therefore, the harmful impacts of these colonial policies and practices continue to play a role in undermining Indigenous mental health and well-being today Nelson & Wilson, 2017 ...
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Higher rates of anxiety, depression, and attempted suicide are reported among First Nations, Inuit, and Métis people compared with non-Indigenous people in Canada. This systematic review summarises the key components of mental health interventions among Indigenous Peoples in Canada. We searched MEDLINE, PubMed, PsycINFO, and Web of Science between January 1,1970, and August 30, 2019. Studies needed to be an intervention addressing suicide, depression, or anxiety. There were 14 studies: 8 quantitative, 2 qualitative, and 4 mixed methods. By geographical location, 5 were urban, 5 non-urban, and 4 included multiple areas. Beneficial interventions included ceremony, being on the land, engaging in traditional food gathering, culturally grounded indoor and outdoor activities, and the sharing of Indigenous knowledge by Elders.
... The health of Black communities today cannot be separated from enslavement, from the failures of reconstruction, from Jim Crow, from redlining and racist housing policies, and from the War on Drugs policies that have led to the US mass incarceration crisis (Alexander, 2010). Similarly, the health of North American Indigenous communities today cannot be separated from the massacre of people, from the seizure of homelands, and from the stealing and forced assimilation of children during the boarding/residential school era (Elias et al., 2012;Heart, 2003). ...
Article
Exposure to trauma increases the risk of engaging in detrimental health behaviors such as tobacco and substance use. In response, the United States Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration developed Trauma-Informed Care (TIC), an organizational framework for improving the provision of behavioral health care to account for the role exposure to trauma plays in patients' lives. We adapt TIC to introduce a novel theory of behavior change, the Trauma-Informed Theory of Individual Health Behavior (TTB). TTB posits that individual capacity to undertake intentional health-promoting behavior change is dependent on three factors: 1) the forms and severity of trauma they have been and are exposed to; 2) how this trauma physiologically manifests (i.e., the trauma response); and 3) resilience to undertake behavior change despite this trauma response. We define each of these factors and their relationships to one another. We anticipate that the introduction of TTB will provide a foundation for developing theory-driven research, interventions, and policies that improve behavioral health outcomes in trauma-affected populations. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
... Previous studies have pointed to school-related risk and protective factors linked to suicide at the different SESPM levels. Societal school factors include, for example, the school's specific historical, cultural or economic circumstances (Elias, 2012). School community factors that have been linked to suicide risk include variables such as school climate or suicide outbreaks within a school (Brent et al., 1989). ...
Article
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Suicide, the second leading cause of death among adolescents, requires an integrative approach to maximize the effectiveness of prevention efforts. The current study draws on the social-ecological model and its relevance to the ecosystem at Vocational Education and Training (VET) high schools in the context of suicide prevention. The study examined the school-related factors of school connectedness, academic self-efficacy and school autonomy support in relation to suicidal thoughts and behavior. Participants included 5688 students (mean age 15.58) drawn from 62 vocational high schools across Israel. Structural equation modeling revealed that school connectedness and academic self-efficacy exhibit negative links to suicide ideation and behavior; moreover, these links were partly mediated by depressive symptoms. School autonomy support was found to be positively linked to suicide ideation and suicide attempts. The paper discusses the results with respect to suicide prevention efforts in the unique context of adolescents attending vocational schools.
... Transgenerational trauma may be the most devastating form of collective trauma (40). Suicide among the native people of Australia and Canada is viewed to be a result of colonization, dispossession, culture loss, and social disconnection (41,42,43,44,45). Some authors inferred this as being due to historical trauma (46,47,48). ...
Chapter
Natural and manmade disasters can severely impact on family and community structures and processes to cause collective trauma. Observations, experiences, and work in multiple migration situations around the world and literature survey have informed this study. Collective trauma can lead to migration and manifest in migrant populations as high levels of post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, depletion of social capital, dysfunctional family dynamics, loss of motivation, dependence, helplessness, hostility, distrust, suspicion, despair, alcohol and drug abuse, and a variety of social pathologies, as well as historical and transgenerational effects. Procedures, support systems, and atmospheres in host countries can mitigate and help to resolve collective trauma or exacerbate, worsen, and prolong healing. Rebuilding social capital, communality, trust, networks, feeling of collective efficacy, promoting family unity, adaptation to host culture, and learning the language can be salutary. Historical communities will have elements of resilient functioning that should be recognized, respected, and encouraged, while exclusive and maladaptive practices can be discouraged.
... It was found that the survivors experienced abuse 32% of the time, had suicidal thoughts 22.7%, and 10.5% had actually attempted suicide. Accordingly, descendants of these survivors experienced abuse 52.1%, had suicidal ideation 22% of the time, and attempted suicide 16.8% in their lives (Elias, et al., 2012). This indicates that the abuse for descendants of those boarding school survivors endured abuse in some form at a higher frequency than that of survivors implying direct intergenerational impact. ...
Thesis
This is a qualitative phenomenological exploration looking at how Indian boarding schools impacted Indigenous families and indicators of how their attachment was affected. Thirty-one semi-structured interviews were conducted with 18 individuals who attended Indian boarding schools and 13 descendants of those who attended these schools. The interviews were conducted on a Northern Plains reservation where approval was obtained from that tribal college and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Results indicate knowledge sharers in both groups, individuals who attended boarding schools and those who descended from these individuals experienced critical impacts to their ability to form intergenerational attachments with subsequent generations due to the possibly negative caregiving they received in the boarding schools. Survivors indicated issues of trauma they experienced at the boarding schools through abuse, family separation, abandonment and extreme loneliness. These traumatic processes then implicated difficulty in forming a strong and safe base for an attachment to form with others in their lives. The individuals who went to boarding schools had difficulty in how they survived their difficult times through being independent and focusing on protecting themselves and this often-involved emotional suppression. Survivors taught their descendants that emotion was not important and independent survival was the priority. Furthermore, knowledge sharers indicated that overwhelmingly, while in survival mode, those emotions seemed less important. In suppressing the negative emotions, many knowledge sharers engaged in harmful coping methods like substances and impulsive behavior. Conversely, knowledge sharers were able to hold onto their culture and through attachments with grandparents, they were able to learn their language and participate in ceremonies. These discoveries emphasize the need for further research on attachment indicators like building trust, encouraging emotional regulation, and teaching positive coping methods with Indigenous families impacted by Indian boarding schools.
... Colonial policies of countries such as Canada, Australia, South Africa, and the United States have been enormously destructive to indigenous cultures and have massively undermined traditional community and family practices, according to many psychologists, anthropologists, and social workers (Ball, 2010;Brave Heart & DeBruyn, 1998;Padilla, Ward, & Limb, 2013;Wolfe, 2006). Forced assimilation processes such as boarding schools, land theft, and cultural denigration created psychological difficulties for indigenous communities, reflected in family violence, sexual abuse, child abuse, alcoholism, depression, and suicide (Bohn, 2003;Elias et al., 2012;Erickson, 2005;Fischler, 1985;Kral, 2012;Middlebrook, LeMaster, Beals, Novins, & Manson, 2001). Ball (2010) posits that in Canada, the removal of children from family care to residential schools produced fissures in the sociocultural transmission of fatherhood roles across generations and created challenges for indigenous fathers' sustained involvement with their children. ...
Article
This article takes the reader through the social‐geographies and psycho‐politics of protection and fatherhood. It examines the challenges to fatherhood roles and modes in which Palestinian fathers protect their families and homes in the context of colonialism in Occupied East Jerusalem. It shares and engages with fathers' own voices and experiences, using a bottom‐up, feminist, and decolonial analysis to reveal the complexities, meanings, and concerns of fathers in their role as protectors. The voices gathered revealed a multilayered understanding of fathers' role as protectors in the framework of psychosocial modes, meanings, techniques, transformations, and acts within an insecure context.
... It was found that the survivors experienced abuse 32% of the time, had suicidal thoughts 22.7%, and 10.5% had actually attempted suicide. Accordingly, descendants of these survivors experienced abuse 52.1%, had suicidal ideation 22% of the time, and attempted suicide 16.8% in their lives (Elias, et al., 2012). This indicates that the abuse for descendants of those boarding school survivors endured abuse in some form at a higher frequency than that of survivors implying direct intergenerational impact. ...
Article
This is a qualitative phenomenological exploration looking at how Indian boarding schools impacted Indigenous families and indicators of how their attachment was affected. Thirty-one semi-structured interviews were conducted with 18 individuals who attended Indian boarding schools and 13 descendants of those who attended these schools. The interviews were conducted on a Northern Plains reservation where approval was obtained from that tribal college and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Results indicate knowledge sharers in both groups, individuals who attended boarding schools and those who descended from these individuals experienced critical impacts to their ability to form intergenerational attachments with subsequent generations due to the possibly negative caregiving they received in the boarding schools. Survivors indicated issues of trauma they experienced at the boarding schools through abuse, family separation, abandonment and extreme loneliness. These traumatic processes then implicated difficulty in forming a strong and safe base for an attachment to form with others in their lives. The individuals who went to boarding schools had difficulty in how they survived their difficult times through being independent and focusing on protecting themselves and this often-involved emotional suppression. Survivors taught their descendants that emotion was not important and independent survival was the priority. Furthermore, knowledge sharers indicated that overwhelmingly, while in survival mode, those emotions seemed less important. In suppressing the negative emotions, many knowledge sharers engaged in harmful coping methods like substances and impulsive behavior. Conversely, knowledge sharers were able to hold onto their culture and through attachments with grandparents, they were able to learn their language and participate in ceremonies. These discoveries emphasize the need for further research on attachment indicators like building trust, encouraging emotional regulation, and teaching positive coping methods with Indigenous families impacted by Indian boarding schools. Advisor: Cody S. Hollist, Ph.D., LIMHP
... Removed children, regardless of disability status, experienced high rates of physical, sexual, and emotional violence in their new care settings [36]. This was in addition to the constant degradation of their Indigenous identity and attempts to break ties to their culture [53]. Survivors also report poor housing, food, and educational quality within their care institutions [51,52]. ...
Article
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Background A recent Royal Commission into the treatment of Australians living with disabilities has underscored the considerable exposure to violence and harm in this population. Yet, little is known about exposure to violence among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people living with disabilities. The objective of this paper was to examine the prevalence, disability correlates and aspects of violence and threats reported by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people living with disabilities. Methods Data from the 2014–15 National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Survey were used to measure physical violence, violent threats and disability. Multivariable logistic and ordinal logistic regression models adjusted for complex survey design were used to examine the association between measures of disability and exposure to violence and violent threats. Results In 2014–15, 17% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 15–64 with disability experienced an instance of physical violence compared with 13% of those with no disability. Approximately 22% of those with a profound or severe disability reported experiencing the threat of physical violence. After adjusting for a comprehensive set of confounding factors and accounting for complex survey design, presence of a disability was associated with a 1.5 odds increase in exposure to physical violence (OR = 1.54 p < 0.001), violence with harm (OR = 1.55 p < 0.001), more frequent experience of violence (OR = 1.55 p < 0.001) and a 2.1 odds increase (OR = 2.13 p < 0.001) in exposure to violent threats. Severity of disability, higher numbers of disabling conditions as well as specific disability types (e.g., psychological or intellectual) were associated with increased odds of both physical violence and threats beyond this level. Independent of these effects, removal from one’s natural family was strongly associated with experiences of physical violence and violent threats. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women, regardless of disability status, were more likely to report partner or family violence, whereas men were more likely to report violence from other known individuals. Conclusion Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with disability are at heightened risk of physical violence and threats compared to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people without disability, with increased exposure for people with multiple, severe or specific disabilities.
... By placing the high rates of violence, substance abuse, and poverty experienced by Indigenous families into the appropriate context of colonization and assimilation policies, evaluators can focus on the resiliencies these people have demonstrated. With this background, it can be seen that the deliberate suppression and elimination of culture and tradition has led to intergenerational trauma, the residues of which are visible today in the increased levels of social and mental health problems observed in many Indigenous communities (Elias, B., Mignone, Hall, Hong, Hart, & Sareen, 2012;Esquimaux-Wesley & Smolewski, 2004;Kirmayer, Simpson, & Cargo, 2003). This paper will outline the historic and current context for Indigenous evaluation research, provide a rationale for the use of Indigenous methods and ethics, identify a decolonized framework for research and evaluation, and provide actionable decolonizing options for evaluation development and implementation. ...
... The Youth Knowledge Fair (YKF) and trip to Europe are particularly interesting in the realm of youth development due to the challenging circumstances faced by some Indigenous communities. Intergenerational trauma, a result of colonialism and residential school, has contributed to high rates of Indigenous suicide [4,33,34], substance use disorders [3,35], and incarceration [36]. Due to the seriousness of these issues there are growing opportunities to engage with youth and improve their outcomes [37]. ...
Article
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While there are many studies about the environmental impacts of climate change in the Canadian north, the role of Indigenous youth in climate governance has been a lesser focus of inquiry. A popularized assumption in some literature is that youth have little to contribute to discussions on climate change and other aspects of land and resource management; such downplay of youth expertise and engagement may be contributing to climate anxiety (e.g., feelings of hopelessness), particularly in remote communities. Creating opportunities for youth to have a voice in global forums such as the United Nations Conference of Parties (COP24) on Climate Change may offset such anxiety. Building on previous research related to climate action, and the well-being of Indigenous youth, this paper shares the outcomes of research with Indigenous youth (along with family and teachers) from the Mackenzie River Basin who attended COP24 to determine the value of their experience. Key questions guiding these interviews included: How did youth impact others? and How did youth benefit from the experience? Key insights related to the value of a global experience; multiple youth presentations at COP24 were heard by hundreds of people who sought to learn more from youth about their experience of climate change. Additional insights were gathered about the importance of family and community (i.e., webs of support); social networks were seen as key to the success of youth who participated in the event and contributed to youth learning and leadership development.
... Child abuse history was collected via structured questions with "yes/no" answers: "Were you abused as a child or adolescent? a) physical, b) sexual, c) emotional/psychological, d) witnessing abuse among family members (consistent with Elias et al., 2012). We asked the women to self-report physical and mental health conditions and, to assess disability, we asked whether these conditions affected their employability or the kind or amount of daily activities. ...
Article
In Western Canada, 504 mothers with children 18 years and younger participated in a study of the impacts of intimate partner violence (IPV). Of these, 68 (13.5%) had children currently taken into either temporary or permanent care by child protective service (CPS). This exploratory secondary data analysis compares demographics, mental health/well-being, and protective mothering strategies of the mothers whose children were taken into care compared to those whose children were not to identify key characteristics associated with children being removed by CPS. The demographic characteristics that differentiated the groups most significantly were that mothers with children in care had more CPS involvement as children, themselves, and were less educated. No differences were found on the Severe Combined Abuse, Emotional, Harassment, or Total abuse as measured by the Composite Abuse Scale (CAS). However, mothers with children in care reported significantly more Physical Abuse (CAS). On the mental health measures, mothers with children in care reported significantly more psychological distress (SCL-10; with scores in the clinical range) and lower quality of life but no differences on depression (CES-D-10) or PTSD symptoms (PCL), neither in the clinical range. With regard to protective strategies, the women with children in care were more likely to remain with partners and to physically fight back. Implications of these findings are discussed.
... In this case, one common trope is that the modal Indigenous person suffered debilitating abuse in an IRS that placed the person, his or her offspring, and his or her community at risk of dysfunction for generations to come-with epigenetic processes representing a chief means for intergenerational transmission of this risk. In reality, at any given historical moment, most Indigenous people did not attend IRSs, many who did would not report that they suffered horrific abuse, and even among those who do report abuse, many do not believe that it negatively impacted their adult lives (see Elias et al., 2012, for one example of this sort of complexity from a single region of reserves in Canada). 6 Beyond this, the expanding literature by scholars such as Matheson and colleagues (2020) represents a promising and important set of empirical contributions to this discussion. ...
Article
The articles in this issue of Transcultural Psychiatry point the way toward meaningful advances in mental health research pertaining to Indigenous peoples, illuminating the distinctive problems and predicaments that confront these communities as well as unrecognized or neglected sources of well-being and resilience. As we observe in this introductory essay, future research will benefit from ethical awareness, conceptual clarity, and methodological refinement. Such efforts will enable additional insight into that which is common to Indigenous mental health across settler societies, and that which is specific to local histories, cultures and contexts. Research of this kind can contribute to nuanced understandings of developmental pathways, intergenerational effects, and community resilience, and inform policy and practice to better meet the needs of Indigenous individuals, communities and populations.
... For example, the development of the Historical Loss Scale by Whitbeck and colleagues (2004) allowed scholars to measure the effects of historical loss by evaluating affect, substance use, and delinquency as a function of thoughts about historical loss (Armenta et al., 2016;Brave Heart et al., 2011;Whitbeck, Adams, Hoyt, & Chen, 2004). Another study which examined suicidality among Canadian First Nations adults demonstrated that participants who had a parent or grandparent attend a non-reservation boarding school had more frequent suicidal thoughts and attempts (Elias et al., 2012). Empirical research on effects of historical trauma on AI/AN youth is still in the early stages, but these cited studies imply that events deemed "historical" to many nonetheless continue to affect the lives of Native peoples. ...
Article
Health disparities in American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) youth are well documented in the literature, as AI/AN youth appear to be more likely to experience trauma and engage in high‐risk behavior, such as substance misuse and risky sexual behavior. These youth also appear disproportionally affected by the criminal justice system. Scholars contend that much of these disparities can be traced back to the history of colonization of Indigenous peoples and the transgenerational effects of forced suppression of cultural ideology. This paper reviews the relevant literature on AI/AN youth mental and behavioral health, and this author highlights studies which examine the plausible relation between historical trauma and contemporary AI/AN youth mental health and delinquency. This author proposes that future research should target the high number of AI/AN youths in juvenile justice settings given that these youths appear neglected in current research.
... Child abuse history was collected via structured questions with "yes/no" answers: "Were you abused as a child or adolescent? a) physical, b) sexual, c) emotional/psychological, d) witnessing abuse among family members (consistent with Elias et al., 2012). We asked the women to self-report physical and mental health conditions (whether or not diagnosed by medical personnel) and, to assess disability, we asked whether these conditions affected their employability or the kind or amount of daily activities. ...
Article
This 2.5-year longitudinal, Canadian tri-provincial study (Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba) of women abused by intimate partners examined the nature of the partner abuse, physical and mental conditions, disabilities, child abuse history, and quality of life (QOL). The women retained at 30-months (419 of 665) were identified as Indigenous (48.5%), White (46.6%), or visible minority (4.9%). Physical and mental health conditions were noted by 62.3%; 41.8% of these were disabilities. Over half (54.5%) reported histories of child sexual abuse, with 24.2% reporting other childhood abuse, and 21.3% were not abused as children. Consistent with similar longitudinal studies, over time the women significantly improved their QOL and had less mental stress (SCL-10) and PTSD symptoms (PCL); however, neither PCL nor SCL-10 scores were clinically problematic at any time period. Depression symptoms (CES-D-10) remained constant over time but were not in the clinical range over the 2.5 years. Only IPV severity and having a disability were associated with more severe mental health/well-being scores at 30- months. Implications for practice such as training IPV advocates and counselors to better address disabilities and to avoid stigmatizing women abused by partners as necessarily having mental health issues are presented.
... It seems likely that students who are Residential School Survivors may feel unheard or hurt when hearing others situate the impact of Residential Schools in the past. Recognizing that current students may be Residential School Survivors or experience intergenerational impacts (Elias et al., 2012;Bombay et al., 2011), or experience deep-rooted colonial trauma in other ways, could help universities work toward an Indigenization process that considers these diverse needs, and thus, is broadly representative of the many diverse Indigenous student experiences. ...
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Indigenizing post-secondary institutions is a relatively new phenomenon in Canada, largely in response to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s reports and 94 Calls to Action. Indigenization is a broad concept that includes embedding Indigenous ways of knowing and being in post-secondary institutions, increasing Indigenous recruitment, and ensuring Indigenous success. In this study, I present the results of a thematic analysis of nine Indigenous students’ experiences with Indigenization at the University of Saskatchewan. Students described opportunities borne of Indigenization and detriments like exhaustion and lack of basic needs. They also discussed the importance of representation, centering Indigenous values and knowledges, and creating community to Indigenize. I end the paper with four policy recommendations for post-secondary institutions interested in Indigenization.
... As they are known because of their experiences, "Survivors" of such schools suffer in many ways as a result of their "schooling." For example, they have a greater prevalence of negative physical and mental health problems, such as diabetes (Mosby & Galloway, 2017), addiction (Ross et al., 2015), and suicide (Elias et al., 2012), among others. ...
... Multi-generational effects of IRSs have also been documented in survivors' children and grandchildren. In this regard, First Nations adults and youth living on-and off-reserve with parents and/or grandparents who attended IRS, reported higher levels of psychological distress, suicidal thoughts and attempts, substance use, and poorer self-reported mental and physical health compared to their First Nations counterparts without a family history of IRS attendance [17,[28][29][30][31][32]. ...
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First Nations children are over 17 times more likely to be removed from their families and placed in the child welfare system (CWS) than non-Indigenous children in Canada. The high rates of parent-child separation have been linked to discriminatory public services and the Indian Residential School (IRS) system, which instigated a multi-generational cycle of family disruption. However, limited empirical evidence exists linking the IRS to subsequent parent-child separations, the CWS, and mental health outcomes among First Nations, Inuit, and Métis populations in Canada. The current studies examine these relationships using a nationally representative sample of First Nations youth (ages 12–17 years) living in communities across Canada (Study 1), and among First Nations and Métis adults (ages 18+ years) in Canada (Study 2). Study 1 revealed that First Nations youth with a parent who attended IRS had increased odds of not living with either of their biological parents, and both IRS and not living with biological parents independently predicted greater psychological distress. Similarly, Study 2 revealed that First Nations and Métis adults with familial IRS history displayed greater odds of spending time in the CWS, and both IRS and CWS predicted elevated depressive symptoms. The increased distress and depressive symptoms associated with parent-child separations calls for First Nations-led interventions to address the inequities in the practices of removing Indigenous children and youth from their families.
... In a study of the 2002/2003 wave of the study conducted in the province of Manitoba, Elias, et al. (2012) reported that 48.1% of the individuals who had attended residential school had experienced physical or sexual abuse in their lifetimes, significantly greater than the 36.5% of individuals who had not attended residential school. These authors also found that a history of abuse was linked to suicidal thoughts and suicide attempts among former attendees. ...
Thesis
For over one hundred years, the Indian Residential School (IRS) system was used by the Canadian government to force assimilation on indigenous communities in what was later revealed to be a system rife with physical, psychological, and sexual abuse. This dissertation sought to examine a) how testimonies by former attendees of the IRS system reflect psychological understandings of trauma and loss, and b) how IRS attendees demonstrate resilience and resistance through testimony. Secondary analysis of pre-collected data was used to examine these questions. A thematic analysis was conducted of testimonies from 40 former attendees of the Beauval Indian Residential School that were given to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in Canada in the province of Saskatchewan. Six overarching themes were identified: “Life before IRS,” “Conditions at IRS,” “Effects of IRS,” “Resistance,” “Resilience,” and “Healing.” A subset of themes was then given further attention to explore the depth of participant testimonies. Respondents presented a holistic understanding of the effects of trauma and loss on indigenous individuals, families, and communities, and demonstrated multiple forms of resilience and resistance to IRS. Rather than viewing the IRS experience as a series of traumatic events, this research suggests that it is more accurate to view the system as an exercise of colonial power, which attempted to accomplish its goal of forced assimilation using institutional conditioning reinforced by violence against indigenous children. Healing efforts should thus take a holistic approach, prioritizing reconnection to others, reconnection to culture, and promotion of survivor voices, to address the effects of IRS at multiple levels.
... Child abuse history was collected via structured questions with "yes/no" answers: "Were you abused as a child or adolescent? (a) physical, (b) sexual, (c) emotional/psychological, (d) witnessing abuse among family members (consistent with Elias, et al., 2012). ...
Article
Studies of intimate partner sexual assault (IPSA) and its effects on mental health are limited. This secondary data analysis examines IPSA, a history of child sexual abuse, depression, trauma, mental distress and quality of life in 665 Canadian women, 41% of whom had been sexually assaulted by intimate partners; 53% were sexually abused as children. Women who had experienced any IPSA had significantly higher scores on all Composite Abuse subscales (IPV), mental distress (SCL-10), and depression (CES-D-10). PTSD (PCL) was higher for women with both IPSA and CSA histories. Implications for advocates, clinicians, and researchers are presented.
... Contact with surrounding societies over time has inserted indigenous peoples into contexts permeated by interrelated environmental, cultural, and epidemiological impacts. [1][2][3] In Brazil, indigenous societies continue to experience the consequences of historical intervention from European colonization. The result is their social marginalization, particularly in relation to access to public health services. ...
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Resumo Objetivo comparar atitudes relacionadas à colaboração interprofissional autorrelatadas por diferentes equipes da atenção primária com a realidade observada de seus processos de trabalho. Método abordagem qualitativa e quantitativa implementada em duas etapas de coleta de dados, entre dezembro de 2019 e outubro de 2020. Na qualitativa, empregou-se a observação sistemática dos atendimentos em unidades de saúde. Utilizou-se roteiro de observação baseado no Referencial para Competências em Interprofissionalidade e no Fluxograma Analisador do processo de trabalho centrado no usuário. As observações foram registradas em diário de campo. Na etapa quantitativa, aplicou-se a Escala de Atitudes Relacionadas à Colaboração Interprofissional. Resultados noventa e um profissionais da atenção básica responderam a escala. Obteve-se uma média de 120 de pontuação, que significa valorização do trabalho colaborativo por respondentes de todas as equipes. Apesar disso, foram observadas divergências entre o falado e o vivido, pois o processo de trabalho estruturado parece limitar atitudes colaborativas. Conclusões e implicações para a prática valorização de atividades programadas para o trabalho interprofissional da equipe de saúde e de enfermagem na atenção primária, como espaços na agenda para reuniões. Necessidade de promoção da educação interprofissional com trabalhadores, bem como de políticas públicas que garantam mecanismos para o trabalho colaborativo na atenção básica.
... Ethnic-related shame and guilt are defined as markers of moral injury in families affected by the Armenian genocide (Karenian et al., 2011). Increased suicides, helplessness and hopelessness are frequently encountered in the offspring of Canadian aborigines (Elias et al., 2012). Evidence consistently suggests that Chinese survivors avoid sharing family narratives about the Famine 1959Famine -1961 in China with their offspring (Bianco, 2013;Weigelin-Schwiedrzik, 2006). ...
Article
The aims of the study were to examine intergenerational effects of two cultural contexts of massive genocide: the Holodomor 1932-1933 in Ukraine, and the Holocaust 1939-1944 on the second and third generations of women in Ukraine and Israel. Forty women participants were recruited for four focus groups, two in each country, comprised of 10 participants each, using a snowball method in both countries. The second-generation groups were named as “the mothers’ group”, and the third-generation group (comprised of daughters of the mothers’ groups) were named as “the daughters’ group”. Inclusion criteria for sampling were: (a) being female above 18 years old, and (b) having family experience of the Famine 1932-1933 / Holocaust during 1939-1944. The groups were moderated by two experienced psychologists in each of the countries. The participants were presented with seven semi-structured questions and were asked to share their family narratives and experiences of the genocide. The study applied inductive thematic analyses that progressed from description to interpretation, for key themes that emerged during the groups’ sessions. The results of the study showed the centrality of five emerging themes in both mothers’ and daughters’ narratives, including: “emotions and feelings of experiencing genocide, “attitudes toward food and starvation”, “sense of losses and death”, “transgenerational transmission of trauma in family narratives”, and “ethnic identity”. The cross-cultural perspective of the current research shed light on the similarities and differences between the traumatic narratives constructed by the offspring of the second and the third generations in the two contexts of Ukraine and Israel. The Ukrainian women attributed greater importance of commemoration of Holodomor victims as part of an effective coping strategy with trauma, while the Israeli women put more emphasis on the attitude of asceticism that was inherited from the Holocaust survivors. The cross-cultural clinical and educational implications are discussed.
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This case study of undergraduate early childhood education pre-service teachers in an international field experience examines living, working, and studying in a sovereign nation while still "at home" within the United States. In our various roles (researcher, pre-service teacher, faculty mentor), we explored the impact of colonization as we lived and worked with people who are Anishinaabe. We viewed the larger issues that tribal sovereignty brings to education in terms of federal and state standards. Our research focuses on the impact of this cross-cultural field experience on the pre-service teachers' understanding of self as related to cross-cultural teaching. We employed a reflective multilayered process before, during, and following the field experience, and used qualitative emergent coding methods. Pre-service teachers developed an awareness of their individual comfort zones, recognized the power in strengths-based versus deficit-based approaches, and gained clarity on the cultural role of education and the role of culture in education. With this new knowledge, teachers may be better able to create culturally relevant curriculum and pedagogies in ways that allow for more meaningful connections with students and their families.
Article
Purpose: This study investigated the relationship between familial residential school system (RSS) exposure and personal child welfare system (CWS) involvement among young people who use drugs (PWUD). Methods: Data were obtained from two linked cohorts of PWUD in Vancouver, Canada, and restricted to Indigenous participants. Multivariable logistic regression analysis was used to investigate the relationship between three categories of familial RSS exposure (none, grandparent, and parent) and CWS involvement. A secondary analysis assessed the likelihood of CWS involvement between non-Indigenous and Indigenous PWUD with no familial RSS exposure. Results: Between December 2011 and May 2016, 675 PWUD (aged <35 years) were included in this study, 40% identified as Indigenous. In multivariable analyses, compared with Indigenous participants with no RSS exposure (reference), those with a grandparent in the RSS had a higher likelihood of having been in CWS (adjusted odds ratio [AOR] = 1.34, 95% confidence interval [CI]: .67-2.71), as did those with a parent exposed to RSS (AOR = 2.03, 95% CI: 1.03-3.99). In secondary analysis, the odds of CWS involvement was not significantly different between non-Indigenous and Indigenous PWUD with no familial RSS exposure (AOR = .63, 95% CI: .38-1.06). Conclusions: We observed a dose-response-type trend between familial RSS exposure and personal CWS involvement and a nonsignificant difference in the likelihood of CWS involvement between Indigenous and non-Indigenous PWUD when controlling for RSS exposure. These data demonstrate the intergenerational impact of the RSS on the overrepresentation of Indigenous youth in the CWS. Findings have critical implications for public policy and practice including reconciliation efforts with Indigenous Peoples.
Article
American Indian (AI) people experience disproportionate exposure to stressors and health inequities, including type 2 diabetes (T2D) and mental health problems. There is increasing interest in how historical trauma and ongoing experiences of discrimination and marginalization (i.e., historical oppression) interact to influence AI health. The purpose of this study is to examine the relationships between historically traumatic experiences (i.e., boarding schools, relocation programs, and foster care), current reports of historical cultural loss, microaggressions, and their relationship to internalizing symptoms among AI adults living with T2D. This community-based participatory research study with five AI tribal communities includes data from 192 AI adults with T2D recruited from tribal clinics. Results from structural equation modeling revealed that personal experiences in foster care and ancestral experiences in boarding schools and/or relocation were associated with increased reports of historical loss, and indirectly associated with internalizing symptoms through racial microaggressions and historical losses. The findings highlight the importance of considering multiple dimensions of historical trauma and oppression in empirical and practice-based assessments of mental health problems.
Chapter
This chapter examines unique challenges in the way of Native American educational success as well as solutions to overcoming. The chapter addresses why intergenerational trauma matters, the impacts of public policy on Native American people such as the Native American Languages Act of 1990, and the importance of Native American people being connected to the land, protecting traditions, language, and their ancestors. The purpose of this literature review is to shed light on Native American educational barriers and to critique existing literature. Areas analyzed include the trend of low rates of educational attainment among Native Americans, the history of abuse towards Indigenous people and other minorities, the impact on individuals, and solutions for the future. There is a need for Native American students to stay connected to cultural tradition, cultural relevancy in education, role models for Native American people, and an importance of Native American students staying connected to family.
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Suicide is among the 10 leading causes of death in the US and has the potential to suddenly change many lives. It often occurs when people are disproportionately affected by societal conditions, including inequities, discrimination, oppression, and historical trauma. We posit that a social justice framework can improve suicide prevention efforts when incorporated into existing strategies because it mandates that inequities be addressed. It does so through education, engagement, advocacy, and action, and can be especially effective in states and nations with high suicide rates and entrenched societal inequities.
Thesis
Suicide is a significant public health concern, and it remains the second leading cause of death among individuals aged 10 to 34 years in the United States. Suicide death rates have climbed more than 35% since 1999 (10.5 per 100,000) till 2018 (14.2 per 100,000), with a greater increase among men, young adolescents, racial/ethnic minorities, and sexual minority youth. The risks of engaging in suicidal behaviors differ across developmental stages; however, few studies documented the nuanced differences of suicidal trajectories over time. More importantly, sociodemographic disparities in suicidal trajectories are largely unknown. Understanding suicidal trajectories can improve the effectiveness of suicide interventions by targeting the most sensitive periods, most important risk factors, and at-risk subpopulations. Despite decades of suicide research, our ability to predict suicidal behaviors is not strong enough and has not improved over the past 50 years. Previous studies have predominately re-reporting on the same individual risk factors (e.g., psychological and substance use disorders) for suicidal ideation and suicide attempts, while the evidence on the influences of social contexts, especially the role of social networks, is substantially limited. Even less research is available in elucidating the effect of social networks across the life course. Little is known about how different social network characteristics evolve, or how such changes contribute to suicidal trajectories as adolescents transitioning to adults. Guided by the Network Episode Model (NEM), this dissertation fills in these gaps by examining the influence of multidimensional and changing patterns of social networks on suicidal trajectories over time. Using a three-paper format, this dissertation examined: 1) trajectories of suicidal ideation and suicide attempts (Study 1), 2) how social networks during adolescence influence suicidal trajectories (Study 2), and 3) how parental closeness trajectories influence suicidal trajectories, and whether future orientation may moderate the association between parental closeness trajectories and suicidal trajectories (Study 3). Each study further explores the racial/ethnic, sex, sexual orientation, and socioeconomic disparities in predicting suicidal trajectories. Study 1: Using latent class growth analyses, Study 1 identified three suicidal ideation trajectories (low-stable, moderate-decreasing-increasing, high-decreasing) and two suicide attempt trajectories (low-stable, moderate-decreasing). Results of multinomial logistic regressions found female and sexual minorities were more likely to have a high risk of suicidal ideation and moderate risk of suicide attempts in early adolescence, following by gradual decreases in risks over time. Sexual minorities had a higher probability of showing moderate suicidal ideation during early adolescence, which decreased through emerging adulthood (ages 18 to 26 years), but increased in later stages (ages 24 to 32 years). Black adolescents were more likely to show a lower risk of suicidal ideation and suicide attempts across life stages. Intersections across race/ethnicity, public assistance receipt, and sexual orientation were found to predict suicidal trajectories characterized by high risks of suicidal behaviors in an early stage. Study 2: After identifying three suicidal ideation trajectories (low-stable, moderate-decreasing-increasing, high-decreasing) and two suicide attempt trajectories (low-stable, moderate-decreasing), Study 2 found a greater family cohesion was significantly associated with lower probabilities of being in high-decreasing (Trajectory 2) and moderate-decreasing-increasing (Trajectory 3) trajectories of suicidal ideation, as well as the moderate-low trajectory of suicide attempts (Trajectory 2) than in low-stable trajectories. Significant moderation effects of race/ethnicity, sex, and sexual orientation were detected in the associations between a specific type of social networks (household size, peer network density, family cohesion, peer support, neighborhood support) and suicidal trajectories. Study 3: Using latent growth curve modeling, Study 3 examined parental closeness trajectories over time and found both maternal and paternal closeness decreased as individuals grew older. Individuals with low values of parental closeness during early adolescence and steeper decreasing rates of parental closeness trajectories over time had a higher likelihood of being in the moderate-decreasing-increasing trajectory of suicidal ideation (Trajectory 3) and the moderate-decreasing trajectory of suicide attempts (Trajectory 2). Future orientation was found to have a protective-stabilizing effect on the association between paternal closeness trajectories and the probability of being in the moderate-decreasing-increasing suicidal ideation trajectory (Trajectory 3). The moderating effect of future orientation was only found in Black and Hispanic populations to reduce their likelihood of being in the moderate-decreasing suicide attempts trajectory (Trajectory 2) when there was a steeper decline in maternal closeness. Discussion and limitations of this research and implications for research, policy, and clinical practice are discussed throughout these papers, as well as the overall dissertation conclusion.
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ABSTRACT By reconsidering and retheorising Durkheim’s sociology, we show how perceptions of the quality of family life, particularly youth’s experiences of its integrative and regulative aspects, are subjective indicators of social forces affecting suicidality (i.e., subjective perceptions, thoughts about, and evaluations of suicide) in Tehran, Iran. In the process, we offer ways of theorizing the articulation of integrative and regulative social forces in family life. Analyses of the data provide evidence of the impact of family integration and regulation on suicidal ideation among youth in Tehran, and support for our neo-Durkheimian approach. Specifically, perceptions of family support, relationship density, degree of rational parental discipline, and a sense of fairness andequality in the division of social labor in the family, affect susceptibility to suicidality. Our findings also suggest that the subjective dimensions of integration and regulation both mediate and interact with the state of the family in explaining the suicidality of youth in Tehran.
Article
Objectives The objective of this article is to document patterns and trends of in-hospital mental health service use by First Nations (FN) living in rural and remote communities in the province of Manitoba.Methods Our sample included all Manitoba residents eligible under the Manitoba Health Services Insurance Plan living on FN reserves and those living in rural and remote communities from 1986 to 2014. Using administrative claims data, we developed multi-level models that describe hospitalization for mental health conditions shown responsive to primary healthcare interventions. We aggregated the results by First Nation Tribal Councils and remoteness to derive rates of hospitalization episodes, length of stay and readmission rates.ResultsRates of hospitalization for mental health are increasing for FN males and females. This is particularly evident for those affiliated with the Island Lake and Keewatin Tribal Councils. The length of stay has increased. Changes in rates of readmissions were not statistically significant. FNs are admitted for mental health conditions at a younger age when compared with other Manitobans, and trends show that the FNs’ average age at admission is decreasing.Conclusions Our results raise serious concerns about the responsiveness of community-based mental health services for FNs in Manitoba, because of both increasing rates of episodes of hospitalization and decreasing age of admission. Given the documented lack of mental health services accessible on-reserve, levels of social distress associated with a history of oppressive policies, and continued lack of infrastructure, current trends are alarming.
Article
The article is aimed at presentation of the case study in video games creation by Indigenous auteur and designer, Elizabeth LaPensée, which at the same time demonstrates how video games can both mediatize the process of re-writing history and decolonize popular imagination. The analysis of LaPensée’s three games: Invaders, Thunderbird Strikes, and When the Rivers Were Trails to some extent follows her own strategies of self-identification as Anishinabee (Ojibwe). Drawing upon reconfiguration of the auteur theory and the framework of ludostylistics by Astrid Ensslin, we also strive to demonstrate how the notion of a singular author is in fact grounded in collective and collaborative qualities of indigenous digital culture, including digital game design.
Chapter
Men account for approximately 75% of suicides in the western world, with male suicide rates particularly pronounced in certain groups of men, including: (i) middle-aged men; (ii) men living in rural and remote regions; (iii) White men; (iv) Indigenous men; (v) military veterans; and (vi) men involved in the criminal justice system. The reasons for suicide are complex, and suicide is rarely the result of a single factor. Instead, a combination of proximal and distal factors can interact over time to increase risk. Evidence suggests that some risk factors may be experienced much more intensely in men compared to women. In particular, the research literature indicates three powerful risk factors for male suicide, namely: (i) unemployment; (ii) divorce; and (iii) mental illness and substance use issues. Men experiencing these risk factors frequently face high levels of isolation, social stigma and financial strain leading to a weakening of social integration and connection, and a diminishing sense of meaning and purpose. Of note, male suicide rates have been rising steadily in the last 15 years, with several studies linking this rise to the 2007–2008 Global Financial Crisis and the subsequent Great Recession, which negatively affected many male-dominated industries.
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Introduction: Indigenous peoples in Canada have endured and continue to experience the impact of colonization by European settlers. The deleterious manifestations of intergenerational historic trauma (HT) are evidenced in the high HIV/AIDS epidemic-related premature mortality rates among Indigenous men, despite the availability of novel highly active antiretroviral therapies (HAARTs). Aim: The aims of this study were to explore the impact of historic trauma (HT) on treatment adherence and health promoting practices among Indigenous men living with HIV, and how resilience was both expressed and mediated by survivor status. Methods: This interpretive description study incorporated a cultural safety lens. Through partnership with the Vancouver Native Health Society, 36 male HT survivors were recruited using purposive and theoretical sampling. They told their lived experiences and health promoting practices with respect to HAART adherence through interviews and a focus group. Results: Two broad categories (findings) emerged: (1) resilience as facilitator of HAART adherence; and (2) differential views on HT's impact. Resilience was expressed through nine concepts. Conclusion: Most Indigenous men in this study demonstrate health promoting behavior, stay on HAART and have better health and well-being even if the environments they live in are marginalized or heavily stigmatizing. This study shows that areas of strength and adaptation, including factors promoting resilience can be harnessed to foster HAART adherence. With a consideration of these areas of strength and adaptation, this study offers implications for research and recommendations to improve treatment-adherent behavior, fostering healing from HT, and reducing HIV/AIDS-related deaths.
Article
Despite increased attention in the health care field to the disparate health outcomes of Indigenous peoples, inequities persist. Analytical frameworks with the capacity to account for integrated systems analysis of power and domination are underrepresented yet vital to affecting change. Narratives represent Indigenous approaches to systems thinking, yet are often excluded from the literature on theorizing health systems. Recent theorizing in systems thinking provides a conceptual toolkit to interrogate health systems in a way that emphasizes ongoing histories of settler colonialism that underpin determinants of vulnerability, risks and poor health outcomes. Walby's (2007) approach to complexity theory provides an opportunity to re-orient the way health system researchers and practitioneers approach systems of domination in the context of Indigenous peoples' health, including viewing settler colonialism as a shapeshifter who abounds within the possibility of their environment and is a master of time and space. We explore the concepts of attunement and restraint in complexity theory and complex adaptive systems to better understand the movements of shapeshifters. Further, we demonstrate an application of Walby's framework to a narrative, using the highly publicized story of Brian Sinclair, an Indigenous man who died in a Winnipeg Emergency department. Noting how this approach accounts for settler colonial logics in health care system performance, we establish linkages between Walby's articulation of complexity and the fields of Indigenous and Settler Colonial Studies, anchoring this discussion in Indigenous ontology through the metaphor of shapeshifting. By focusing on the systems level, we elucidate the plethora of individual experiences as outcomes of settler colonialism played out within highly complex, adaptive social systems.
Article
Historical trauma refers to the collective depredations of the past that continue to affect populations in the present through intergenerational transmission. Indigenous people globally experience poorer health outcomes than non-Indigenous people, but the connections between Indigenous people’s health and experiences of historical trauma are poorly understood. To clarify the scope of research activity on historical trauma related to Indigenous peoples’ health, we conducted a scoping review using Arksey and O’Malley’s method with Levac’s modifications. Seventy-five articles (1996-2020) were selected and analyzed. Key themes included (a) challenges of defining and measuring intergenerational transmission in historical trauma; (b) differentiating historical trauma from contemporary trauma; (c) role of racism, discrimination, and microaggression; (d) questing for resilience through enculturation, acculturation, and assimilation; and (e) addressing historical trauma through interventions and programs. Gaps in the research included work to establish mechanisms of transmission, understand connections to physical health, elucidate present and past trauma, and explore epigenetic mechanisms and effects ascribed to it. Understanding first what constitutes historical trauma and its effects will facilitate development of culturally safe holistic care for Indigenous populations.
Article
The pursuit of intergroup reconciliation often includes efforts to educate with the goal of fostering empathy. Yet little empirical evidence demonstrates whether and why greater knowledge might increase empathy. In this research, we investigated whether more critical historical knowledge about a harmed outgroup increases empathy for them, and we explored whether perceptions of privity, the extent to which a past harm continues to cause suffering today, account for this relationship. We tested these hypotheses in the context of non‐Indigenous Canadians' knowledge of Indian Residential Schools and attitudes about Indigenous Peoples across eight laboratory studies with 1242 non‐Indigenous undergraduate students at two Canadian universities. In two studies, participants completed a multiple‐choice measure of knowledge. In the remaining studies, we experimentally varied knowledge through brief educational interventions. All studies included measures of empathy, and five studies included measures of privity. Internal meta‐analyses indicated that participants with higher levels of critical historical knowledge felt more empathy for the outgroup because they could better see how past intergroup harms continue to cause suffering today. We discuss implications for social and political psychological theory and designing education for reconciliation interventions in Canada and elsewhere.
Chapter
This chapter uses the tools of Cosmic feminism—organic writing, indigenous knowledge, and meditation—to deconstruct oppression and to connect to the work of Chinua Achebe.
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Objective Suicide is a leading cause of death among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Friends, family and frontline workers (for example, teachers, youth workers) are often best positioned to provide initial assistance if someone is at risk of suicide. We developed culturally appropriate expert consensus guidelines on how to provide mental health first aid to Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people experiencing suicidal thoughts or behaviour and used this as the basis for a 5-hour suicide gatekeeper training course called Talking About Suicide. This paper describes the outcomes for participants in an uncontrolled trial of this training course. Methods We undertook an uncontrolled trial of the Talking About Suicide course, delivered by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Mental Health First Aid instructors to 192 adult (i.e. 18 years of age or older) Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander (n = 110) and non-Indigenous (n = 82) participants. Questionnaires capturing self-report outcomes were self-administered immediately before (n = 192) and after attending the training course (n = 188), and at four-months follow-up (n = 98). Outcome measures were beliefs about suicide, stigmatising attitudes, confidence in ability to assist, and intended and actual actions to assist a suicidal person. Results Despite a high level of suicide literacy among participants at pre-course measurement, improvements at post-course were observed in beliefs about suicide, stigmatising attitudes, confidence in ability to assist and intended assisting actions. While attrition at follow-up decreased statistical power, some improvements in beliefs about suicide, stigmatising attitudes and intended assisting actions remained statistically significant at follow-up. Importantly, actual assisting actions taken showed dramatic improvements between pre-course and follow-up. Participants reported feeling more confident to assist a suicidal person after the course and this was maintained at follow-up. The course was judged to be culturally appropriate by those participants who identified as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islanders. Implications The results of this uncontrolled trial were encouraging, suggesting that the Talking About Suicide course was able to improve participants’ knowledge, attitudes, and intended assisting actions as well as actual actions taken.
Chapter
This chapter examines unique challenges in the way of Native American educational success as well as solutions to overcoming. The chapter addresses why intergenerational trauma matters, the impacts of public policy on Native American people such as the Native American Languages Act of 1990, and the importance of Native American people being connected to the land, protecting traditions, language, and their ancestors. The purpose of this literature review is to shed light on Native American educational barriers and to critique existing literature. Areas analyzed include the trend of low rates of educational attainment among Native Americans, the history of abuse towards Indigenous people and other minorities, the impact on individuals, and solutions for the future. There is a need for Native American students to stay connected to cultural tradition, cultural relevancy in education, role models for Native American people, and an importance of Native American students staying connected to family.
Article
Objectives We drew on fundamental cause theory and the weathering hypothesis to examine how discrimination influences aging for midlife and older adults in Canada. Methods Using nationally representative data, we assessed the associations between discrimination and pain and functional limitations among adults 45 years of age and older. Discrimination was measured using a modified version of the Everyday Discrimination Scale. Chi-square tests were performed to check for baseline differences in the dependent and key predictor variables by race. Logistic regression was used to estimate the associations of discrimination, race, and sense of belonging with pain and functional limitations, net of sociodemographic characteristics and SES. Results Indigenous respondents showed a clear health disadvantage, with higher rates of pain and functional limitations compared to Whites and Asians. Self-reported discrimination was also higher for Indigenous midlife and older adults than for their White and Asian age counterparts. Discrimination had a direct and robust association with pain (OR 1.56, 95% CI 1.31, 1.87) and functional limitations (OR 1.55, 95% CI 1.29, 1.87). However, race moderated the impact of discrimination on functional limitations for Blacks. Finally, a strong sense of belonging to one’s local community was protective against pain and functional limitations for all racial groups. Discussion Future research needs to further examine the impact of discrimination on Indigenous peoples’ aging process. High rates of discrimination coupled with a greater burden of pain means that Indigenous midlife and older adults may require additional and targeted health and social service resources to age successfully.
Article
Introduction: Globally, Indigenous populations have higher rates of suicidal behavior and psychological distress compared to non-Indigenous populations. Indigenous populations also report high rates of exposure to discrimination, which could potentially contribute to poor mental health outcomes. The objectives of this paper were to estimate the prevalence of discrimination among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander males in Australia and to examine the role of discrimination in the association between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander status and suicidal thoughts and depressive symptoms. Methods: We used cross-sectional data on 13,697 males aged 18-55 years from the Australian Longitudinal Study on Male Health. We undertook a Poisson regression with robust standard error analyses to examine Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander status and self-perceived exposure to discrimination in the past 2 years as correlates of recent suicidal ideation. We used zero-inflated negative binomial regression to assess Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander status and self-perceived exposure to discrimination as correlates of recent depressive symptoms. Results: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander males have a twofold higher prevalence of self-perceived discrimination (39.2% vs 19.3%, p < 0.001), suicidal ideation (21.8% vs 9.4%, p < 0.001) and moderate or worse depressive symptoms (24.0% vs 12.2%, p < 0.001) as compared to their non-Indigenous counterparts. After adjusting for sociodemographics and substance use, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander status was significantly associated with suicidal thoughts (odds ratio = 1.49, p = 0.019) and depressive symptoms (prevalence rate ratio = 1.19, p = 0.018). About 15.3% and 28.7% of the association between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander status and suicidal thoughts and depressive symptoms, respectively, was explained by discrimination. Conclusion: Our analyses add to evidence that discrimination is a contributor to mental health disparities between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and non-Indigenous populations in Australia. Reducing discrimination ought to be considered as part of strategies to improve the social and emotional well-being of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
Thesis
This thesis explores historical trauma in the context of two governmental policies of Indigenous child removal: Indian Residential Schools (IRS) and the Sixties Scoop. Necropolitics, as theory, is addressed in relation to these policies. IRS and the Sixties Scoop contributed to intergenerational physiological and psychological trauma, including feelings of a loss of culture and language as well as historical trauma responses of depression and substance abuse. Nonetheless, there remains a spirit of individual and community resilience within many Indigenous communities in Canada. Through a critical discourse analysis and an historical trauma lens, the research examines how national governmental policies have contributed to a disproportionate number of Indigenous children in the child welfare system
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Extending recent developments in the neo-Durkheimian analysis of suicidality as an indicator of social pathology, this paper analyses individual level survey data on suicidal ideation, perceptions of social support, and the sense of belonging from three Canadian provinces drawn from the Canadian Community Health Survey (2015-16). We ask whether or not social support and a sense of belonging affect suicide ideation differently. In answering this question, we pay attention to both subjective and objective indicators of integration, and how subjective indicators independently affect suicide ideation. Results show that a higher level of social support had the largest effect on suicidal ideation and that the effect of a sense of belonging disappeared when measures of social support are accounted for. These findings are consistent with Durkheim's general theory of suicide and previous studies on mental health, highlighting the importance of regular, proximate social interaction as a prophylactic against suicidality.
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This literature review examines the various responses to trauma suffered by Indigenous peoples as a result of governmental policies geared towards assimilation. Both traumatic and resilient responses are demonstrated at the individual, family and community levels. Much of the research that has been done in the United States to develop theories around historical trauma and race-­based traumatic stress may also be applied to Canada's First Nations due to similar histories of oppression and and a connection to culture and spirituality result in better outcomes for Indigenous peoples. a M.S.W. Elizabeth Fast is currently enrolled in a PhD program at the School of Social Work at McGill University. She is one of the coordinators for the 2008 Canadian Incidence Study of Reported Child Abuse and Neglect and works out of the Centre for Research on Children and Families at McGill University. Prior to returning to school, she worked for several years as a front-­line child welfare practitioner. Her research interests include the overrepresentation of Aboriginal children in the child welfare system, the relationship between culture and resilience among Aboriginal people, youth justice issues and the evaluation of child sexual abuse in child welfare settings. a Ph.D. Delphine Collin-­Vézina is the Tier II Canadian Research Chair in Child Welfare and an assistant professor at the School of Social Work at McGill University. She is a clinical psychologist that has developed a strong interest in research and clinical topics related to social work, including child welfare and child maltreatment. Her research program aims at developing culturally-­appropriate clues for designing early and effective therapeutic and preventative interventions for the diverse populations of traumatized people, one of which are First Nations children and youth. Dr. Collin-­Vézina's research is informed by theoretical concepts in attachment and resiliency.
Article
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This literature review examines the various responses to trauma suffered by Indigenous peoples as a result of governmental policies geared towards assimilation. Both traumatic and resilient responses are demonstrated at the individual, family and community levels. Much of the research that has been done in the United States to develop theories around historical trauma and race-­based traumatic stress may also be applied to Canada's First Nations due to similar histories of oppression and and a connection to culture and spirituality result in better outcomes for Indigenous peoples. a M.S.W. Elizabeth Fast is currently enrolled in a PhD program at the School of Social Work at McGill University. She is one of the coordinators for the 2008 Canadian Incidence Study of Reported Child Abuse and Neglect and works out of the Centre for Research on Children and Families at McGill University. Prior to returning to school, she worked for several years as a front-­line child welfare practitioner. Her research interests include the overrepresentation of Aboriginal children in the child welfare system, the relationship between culture and resilience among Aboriginal people, youth justice issues and the evaluation of child sexual abuse in child welfare settings. a Ph.D. Delphine Collin-­Vézina is the Tier II Canadian Research Chair in Child Welfare and an assistant professor at the School of Social Work at McGill University. She is a clinical psychologist that has developed a strong interest in research and clinical topics related to social work, including child welfare and child maltreatment. Her research program aims at developing culturally-­appropriate clues for designing early and effective therapeutic and preventative interventions for the diverse populations of traumatized people, one of which are First Nations children and youth. Dr. Collin-­Vézina's research is informed by theoretical concepts in attachment and resiliency.
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Several scholars have called for a greater integration of trauma psychology with cultural psychology; however, challenges to successful integration exist and should be carefully considered. Indigenous scholars and researchers have successfully bridged the gap between the two fields in recent years with regard to theory, research, and clinical application. Therefore, Indigenous perspectives, informed by historical, cultural, and epistemological standpoints, are uniquely positioned to provide a transformational framework for redirecting the process and impact of integrating cultural psychology with trauma psychology. We review theoretical, empirical, and clinical intervention examples and explore implications for the integration of trauma psychology and cultural psychology within a framework that respects Indigenous communities’ sovereignty and rights to self-determination.
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Race-based traumatic stress has been studied in the literature under various names including but not limited to insidious trauma, intergenerational trauma, racist incident-based trauma, psychological trauma, and racism. This article reviews and analyzes R. T. Carter’s article in this issue. The author underscores and reacts to the trauma of racism as discussed in Carter’s article, and also highlights efforts that should be directed to racist incident-based trauma counseling. Counselors have to be trained to effectively conduct assessment and interventions with clients who have been victimized by race-based traumas. In addition, counselors should be aware that intersecting identities can result in multiple traumas or forms of oppression, such as 1 client experiencing racism, sexism, poverty, and heterosexism. While it is important to study the dynamics of race-based traumatic stress within the United States, as Carter comprehensively does, it is also essential for counselors to examine and respond to race-based traumatic stress internationally.
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Abuses at Indian Residential Schools have resulted in numerous lawsuits by aboriginal litigants against four Christian denominations and the government of Canada. The suggestion has been made that many of these litigants may suffer from a unique form of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder called „Residential School Syndrome.‟ A competing conceptualization is that these aboriginal people, and others who never attended a residential school, suffer from a generalized intergenerational condition dating back to the days of colonization, and this condition has been called „Historic Trauma.‟ This paper examines the historical evidence supporting both conceptualizations and the implications for treatment associated with each. I conclude that the evidence currently supports the RSS approach, but further research is needed.
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This book develops an alternative account of Canada's operation of Indian residential schools and provides recommendations for undoing what has been done. Derived from a report on residential schooling submitted to the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples in October 1994, the book discusses the language and rhetoric surrounding residential schools and argues that existing accounts in various media obscure and misinform about the facts and their interpretation. Rather than undoing the harm done by Indian residential schools, present-day accounts maintain and extend that abominable era. Chapters are: (1) Unanswered Questions/Unquestioned Answers (the "standard" account); (2) Ground Sternly Disputed (critical analysis of "slippery language" related to motives, "mistakes," and apologies); (3) The Events (testimony before Royal Commissions, physical and psychological abuses in Indian residential schools, unsuitable living conditions, church and governmental inaction); (4) ...and They Call It Peace (genocide in Canada, cultural genocide as an answer to the "Indian problem"); (5) Residential School Syndrome (education as a political weapon, residential schools as "total institutions," long-term consequences of the residential school experience, the invalid notion of a diagnosable "residential school syndrome"); (6) The Forest and the Trees (methodological individualism--focusing blame on individual perpetrators and "therapy" on individual victims); and (7) Recommendations (concerning truthful investigation, education of the Canadian public, settlement of claims, Aboriginal control of public agencies impacting them). Contains references in extensive notes. Appendices contain the United Nations Genocide Convention and six papers by Roland Chrisjohn and others about residential schooling, related research, psychological assessment, psychological imperialism, authentic resistance, and intelligence research. (SV)
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Historical trauma theory is a relatively new concept in public health. The premise of this theory is that populations historically subjected to long-term, mass trauma-colonialism, slavery, war, genocide-exhibit a higher prevalence of disease even several generations after the original trauma occurred. Understanding how historical trauma might influence the current health status of racial/ethnic populations in the U.S. may provide new directions and insights for eliminating health disparities. This article offers an analysis of the theoretical framework of historical trauma theory and provides a general review of the literature. A conceptual model is introduced illustrating how historical trauma might play a role in disease prevalence and health disparities. Finally, implications for public health practice and research are discussed.
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We examined individual, friend or family, and community or tribe correlates of suicidality in a representative on-reserve sample of First Nations adolescents. Data came from the 2002-2003 Manitoba First Nations Regional Longitudinal Health Survey of Youth. Interviews were conducted with adolescents aged 12 to 17 years (n=1125) from 23 First Nations communities in Manitoba. We used bivariate logistic regression analyses to examine the relationships between a range of factors and lifetime suicidality. We conducted sex-by-correlate interactions for each significant correlate at the bivariate level. A multivariate logistic regression analysis identified those correlates most strongly related to suicidality. We found several variables to be associated with an increased likelihood of suicidality in the multivariate model, including being female, depressed mood, abuse or fear of abuse, a hospital stay, and substance use (adjusted odds ratio range=2.43-11.73). Perceived community caring was protective against suicidality (adjusted odds ratio=0.93; 95% confidence interval=0.88, 0.97) in the same model. Results of this study may be important in informing First Nations and government policy related to the implementation of suicide prevention strategies in First Nations communities.
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From 1863 to 1996, many Aboriginal children in Canada were forced to attend Indian Residential Schools (IRSs), where many experienced neglect, abuse, and the trauma of separation from their families and culture. The present study examined the intergenerational impact of IRS exposure on depressive symptomatology in a convenience sample of 143 First Nations adults. IRS experiences had adverse intergenerational effects in that First Nations adults who had a parent attend IRS (n = 67) reported greater depressive symptoms compared to individuals whose parents did not attend (n = 76). Parental IRS attendance moderated the relations between stressor experiences (adverse childhood experiences, adult traumas, and perceived discrimination) and depressive symptoms, such that second generation Survivors exhibited greater symptomatology. Adverse childhood experiences partially mediated the relation between parental IRS attendance and both adult trauma and perceived discrimination. Moreover, both of these adulthood stressors partially mediated the relation between adverse childhood experiences and depressive symptoms. Finally, all three stressors demonstrated a unique mediating role in the relation between parental IRS attendance and depressive symptoms. Although alternative directional paths could not be ruled out, offspring of IRS Survivors appeared at increased risk for depression, likely owing to greater sensitivity to and experiences of childhood adversity, adult traumas, and perceived discrimination.
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Suicidal behavior is a leading cause of injury and death worldwide. Information about the epidemiology of such behavior is important for policy-making and prevention. The authors reviewed government data on suicide and suicidal behavior and conducted a systematic review of studies on the epidemiology of suicide published from 1997 to 2007. The authors' aims were to examine the prevalence of, trends in, and risk and protective factors for suicidal behavior in the United States and cross-nationally. The data revealed significant cross-national variability in the prevalence of suicidal behavior but consistency in age of onset, transition probabilities, and key risk factors. Suicide is more prevalent among men, whereas nonfatal suicidal behaviors are more prevalent among women and persons who are young, are unmarried, or have a psychiatric disorder. Despite an increase in the treatment of suicidal persons over the past decade, incidence rates of suicidal behavior have remained largely unchanged. Most epidemiologic research on suicidal behavior has focused on patterns and correlates of prevalence. The next generation of studies must examine synergistic effects among modifiable risk and protective factors. New studies must incorporate recent advances in survey methods and clinical assessment. Results should be used in ongoing efforts to decrease the significant loss of life caused by suicidal behavior.
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This essay synthesizes the research on intimate partner violence (IPV) in American Indian and/or Alaska Native communities using a social ecological framework. The review of literature demonstrates that American Indian and/or Alaska Native women are at an elevated risk for IPV compared to non-American Indian women and thus this essay describes multi-level interventions that are culturally appropriate for American Indian and/or Alaska Native communities. The interventions address a variety of determinants including gender, age, socioeconomic status, alcohol, European colonization, and infrastructure.
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Contemporary indigenous first nations psychologists have developed an alternative frame for viewing suicide that not only shifts the focus from individual-level to group-level explanations, but challenges discourses that position group-level influences as “risk factors” that can be easily subsumed within standard repertoires for suicide prevention. First nations psychologists show the violent legacy of colonization has left a dark shadow on the contemporary lives of young people, so that around the world, suicide rates for indigenous peoples are much higher than for non-indigenous peoples in the same country. These arguments, which rely on historical accounts, cannot be neatly demonstrated using empirical data, but form an important part of a self-determination movement among indigenous peoples, directly challenging unequal power relations in society as a means to seek redress for particular issues of inequity like rates of youth suicide. We present a theoretical case study and analysis of contemporary suicide among Maori youth in New Zealand. In a traditional Maori conceptualization, individual well-being is sourced and tied to the well-being of the collective cultural identity. Therefore,individual pain is inseparable from collective pain and the role of the collective becomes that of carrying individuals who are suffering. The state of kahupo or spiritual blindness (Kruger, Pitman, et al. 2004) is characterized by a loss of hope, meaning, and purpose and an enduring sense of despair. It bears the symptoms of chronic dissociation or separation of the physical from the spiritual and vice versa. We describe community empowerment practices and social policy environments that offer pathways forward from colonization towards tino rangatiratanga, or indigenous self-determination, noting significant obstacles along the way.
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Suicide rates among American Indians, especially adolescents, are higher than those for the general population. This paper summarizes the relevant literature on prevalence of, and risk factors for, suicide among American Indian groups, with a strong emphasis on adolescents. Data concerning risk of suicide for a sample of high school students attending an Indian boarding school are presented. Approximately 23 percent of these students had attempted suicide at some time in the past, and 33 percent reported suicidal ideation within the past month. Students at greatest risk for suicide include those who reported having either family or friends who had attempted suicide and those who reported on standardized psychological measures as having experienced greater depressive symptomatology, greater quantity and frequency of alcohol use, or little family support. In a 1988 survey of community-based programs for Indian adolescents, 194 were identified as carrying out significant suicide prevention activities. Forty-one of those programs were school-based; they emphasized early identification of students' mental health problems and reduction of specific risk factors such as substance abuse.
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The historical trauma response is a constellation of characteristics associated with massive cumulative group trauma across generations, similar to those found among Jewish Holocaust survivors and descendants. Trauma response features include elevated mortality rates and health problems emanating from heart disease, hypertension, alcohol abuse, and suicidal behavior. This article explores gender differences in the historical trauma response among the Lakota (Teton Sioux) and the correlation with health and mental health statistics. The theory of a Lakota historical trauma response is first explained. Traditional gender roles are described in combination with modifications engendered by traumatic Lakota history. Then, data from a study on Lakota historical trauma are presented, including gender differences in response to an experimental intervention aimed at facilitating a trauma resolution process. The data revealed significant gender differences. The sample of women presented initially with a greater degree of conscious affective experience of historical trauma. In contrast, the men reported more lifespan trauma associated with boarding school attendance and appeared to be at an earlier stage of grief. However, at the end of the intervention, women's experience of survivor guilt--a significant trauma response feature-decreased while men's consciousness of historical trauma and unresolved grief increased. Degree of traditional presentation-of-self, including phenotype, appeared to interact with gender to place male participants at greater risk for being traumatized over the lifespan and perhaps subsequently utilizing more rigid defenses against the conscious experience of the trauma with the exception of survivor guilt. The article concludes with a discussion of health and mental health implications for prevention and treatment of the trauma response which could positively impact the health status of the Lakota. Recommendations for future research are suggested.
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The literature on transgenerational transmission of Holocaust trauma has grown into a rich body of unique psychological knowledge with almost 400 publications. For the time being, however, the transgenerational effect of the Holocaust on the offspring remains a subject of considerable controversy. The main question involves the presence or absence of specific psychopathology in this population. Psychotherapists kept reporting various characteristic signs of distress while research failed to find significant differences between offspring and comparative groups. In an effort to settle this question, the present review of the research literature provides a summary of the findings of 35 comparative studies on the mental state of offspring of Holocaust survivors, published between 1973-1999. This extensive research indicates rather conclusively that the non-clinical population of children of Holocaust survivors does not show signs of more psychopathology than others do. Children of Holocaust survivors tend to function rather well in terms of manifest psychopathology and differences in the mental state of offspring and people in general are small according to most research. The clinical population of offspring, however, tend to present a specific "psychological profile" that includes a predisposition to PTSD, various difficulties in separation-individuation and a contradictory mix of resilience and vulnerability when coping with stress.
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This article reports on the development of two measures relating to historical trauma among American Indian people: The Historical Loss Scale and The Historical Loss Associated Symptoms Scale. Measurement characteristics including frequencies, internal reliability, and confirmatory factor analyses were calculated based on 143 American Indian adult parents of children aged 10 through 12 years who are part of an ongoing longitudinal study of American Indian families in the upper Midwest. Results indicate both scales have high internal reliability. Frequencies indicate that the current generation of American Indian adults have frequent thoughts pertaining to historical losses and that they associate these losses with negative feelings. Two factors of the Historical Loss Associated Symptoms Scale indicate one anxiety/depression component and one anger/avoidance component. The results are discussed in terms of future research and theory pertaining to historical trauma among American Indian people.
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We examined the prevalence of trauma in 2 large American Indian communities in an attempt to describe demographic correlates and to compare findings with a representative sample of the US population. We determined differences in exposure to each of 16 types of trauma among 3084 tribal members aged 15 to 57 years through structured interviews. We compared prevalence rates of trauma, by gender, across the 2 tribes and with a sample of the US general population. We used logistic regression analyses to examine the relationships of demographic correlates to trauma exposure. Lifetime exposure rates to at least 1 trauma (62.4%-67.2% among male participants, 66.2%-69.8% among female participants) fell at the upper limits of the range reported by other researchers. Unlike the US general population, female and male American Indians exhibited equivalent levels of overall trauma exposure. Members of both tribes more often witnessed traumatic events, experienced traumas to loved ones, and were victims of physical attacks than their counterparts in the overall US population. American Indians live in adverse environments that place them at high risk for exposure to trauma and harmful health sequelae.
Article
The literature on transgenerational transmission of Holocaust trauma has grown into a rich body of unique psychological knowledge with almost 400 publications. For the time being, however, the transgenerational effect of the Holocaust on the offspring remains a subject of considerable controversy. The main question involves the presence or absence of specific psychopathology in this population. Psychotherapists kept reporting various characteristic signs of distress while research failed to find significant differences between offspring and comparative groups. In an effort to settle this question, the present review of the research literature provides a summary of the findings of 35 comparative studies on the mental state of offspring of Holocaust survivors, published between 1973-1999. This extensive research indicates rather conclusively that the non-clinical population of children of Holocaust survivoirs does not show signs of more psychopathology than others do. Children of Holocaust survivors tend to function rather well in terms of manifest psychopathology and differences in the mental state of offspring and people in general are small according to most research. The clinical population of offspring, however, tend to present a specific "psychological profile" that includes a predisposition to PTSD, various difficulties in separation-individuation and a contradictory mix of resilience and vulnerability when coping with stress.
Article
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This article presents evidence to suggest that historical trauma has affected Lakota parents and children by changing parenting behavior and placing children at risk for alcohol and other substance abuse. The theoretical explanation of the Lakota historical trauma response is described and used as a framework for the design of a parenting skills curriculum. This intervention focuses on (1) facilitating parental awareness of life span and communal trauma across generations and (2) a re-cathexis or re-attachment to traditional Lakota values.The experimental curriculum intervention was delivered to a group of ten Lakota parents and two Lakota parent facilitators on a Lakota reservation. Qualitative study results revealed that parents experienced the curriculum as effective, particularly the focus on both historical trauma and the reconnection with traditional Lakota mores. The curriculum's emphasis on traditional protective factors for alcohol and other substance abuse prevention for Lakota children presents implications for other parenting curricula. The article concludes with recommendations for future research in the area of Indian parenting and historical trauma.
Article
Violence and the resulting trauma has had a major impact on American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) children and their families, creating hardships that have been very difficult to address or overcome. This article provides a brief description of the cultures and shared beliefs of the indigenous people. A review of the recent published literature on poverty and historical trauma, including a discussion on oppression and hegemony, is presented. Additionally, recent research on violence and the resulting trauma, suicide, domestic violence, and post-traumatic stress disorder is described. A brief description of select cultural adaptations of evidence-based treatments is also provided.
Article
This article, based on research conducted with Lakota human service providers, concludes that the Lakota (Teton Sioux) suffer from impaired grief of an enduring and pervasive quality. Impaired grief results from massive cumulative trauma associated with such cataclysmic events as the assassination of Sitting Bull, the Wounded Knee Massacre, and the forced removal of Lakota children to boarding schools.The research studied a culturally syntonic four‐day psychoeducational intervention designed to initiate a grief resolution process for a group of 45 Lakota human service providers. The methodology included assessment at three intervals: (a)apre‐ and post‐test, utilizing a Lakota Grief Experience Questionnaire andthe semantic differential, (b) a self report evaluation instrument at the end of the intervention, and (c) a six‐week follow‐up questionnaire.The results confirmed the hypotheses that: (a) education about historical trauma would lead to increased awareness of the impact and associated grief related affects of the traumatic Lakota history, (b) sharing these affects with other Lakota in a traditional context would provide cathartic relief, and (c) grief resolution would be initiated, including a reduction in grief affects, more positive identity, and a commitment to individual and community healing.
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Discusses the current parenting difficulties of Native American clients who were formerly in residential schools. A connection is made between the abuse experienced by these individuals and their parental struggles. Along with addressing various sociopolitical issues, the article discusses a number of clinical interventions designed to promote the healing process of these victims and their families. They include parental engagement, family treatment, couple treatment, adult and child individual treatment, and political activism. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
Eduardo Duran--a psychologist working in Indian country--draws on his own clinical experience to provide guidance to counselors working with Native Peoples. Translating theory into actual day-to-day practice, Duran presents case materials that illustrate effective intervention strategies for prevalent problems, including substance abuse, intergenerational trauma, and internalized oppression. Offering a culture-specific approach that has profound implications for all counseling and therapy, this volume: provides invaluable concepts and strategies that can be applied directly to practice; outlines very different ways of serving American Indian clients, translating Western metaphor into Indigenous ideas that make sense to Native People; presents a model in which patients have a relationship with the problems they are having, whether these are physical, mental, or spiritual; and includes a section in each chapter to help non-American Indian counselors use the concepts presented in their own practice in culturally sensitive ways. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
Native American Postcolonial Psychology. Eduardo Duran and Bonnie Duran. Albany: State University of New York Press, 1995. 227 pp.
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This paper considers the usefulness of theory and practice in mainstream psychology in relation to the experiences of Indigenous people directly affected by the practice of child removal. It consists of an interview in which one of the authors, Joyleen Koolmatrie, an Indigenous psychologist, reflects on her work with Indigenous people affected by the removal, including a description of her workshops, which have been conducted throughout Australia, and a reflection by the authors on the approaches to the management of unresolved grief contained in the clinical literature. Key points arising in the paper concern the necessity for psychological theories of grief and grieving to open out to include consideration of sociopolitical and inter-group aspects of loss, and the significance of the identity of the mental health professional who seeks to work with Indigenous people affected by the removal. It is considered preferable that such professionals should themselves be Indigenous since this minimises the risk of re-enactment of the initial trauma and structured oppression within the therapeutic setting.
Article
Objective: To identify issues and concepts to guide the development of ­culturally appropriate mental health promotion strategies with Aboriginal populations and communities in Canada.Methods: We review recent literature examining the links between the history of colonialism and government interventions (including the residential school system, out-adoption, and centralised bureaucratic control) and the mental health of Canadian Aboriginal peoples.Results: There are high rates of social problems, demoralisation, depression, substance abuse, suicide and other mental health problems in many, though not all, Aboriginal communities. Although direct causal links are difficult to demonstrate with quantitative methods, there is clear and compelling evidence that the long history of cultural oppression and marginalisation has contributed to the high levels of mental health problems found in many communities. There is evidence that strengthening ethnocultural identity, community integration and political empowerment can contribute to improving mental health in this population.Conclusions: The social origins of mental health problems in Aboriginal communities demand social and political solutions. Research on variations in the prevalence of mental health disorders across communities may provide important information about community-level variables to supplement literature that focuses primarily on individual-level factors. Mental health promotion that emphasises youth and community empowerment is likely to have broad effects on mental health and wellbeing in Aboriginal communities.
Book
While most books on missing data focus on applying sophisticated statistical techniques to deal with the problem after it has occurred, this volume provides a methodology for the control and prevention of missing data. In clear, nontechnical language, the authors help the reader understand the different types of missing data and their implications for the reliability, validity, and generalizability of a study’s conclusions. They provide practical recommendations for designing studies that decrease the likelihood of missing data, and for addressing this important issue when reporting study results. When statistical remedies are needed--such as deletion procedures, augmentation methods, and single imputation and multiple imputation procedures--the book also explains how to make sound decisions about their use. Patrick E. McKnight's website offers a periodically updated annotated bibliography on missing data and links to other Web resources that address missing data.
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The association between the Holocaust experience and suicide has rarely been studied systematically. The dearth of data in this area of old-age psychiatry does not necessarily imply that Holocaust survivors are immune from suicide. Recent work on the aging of survivors seems to suggest that as a group they are at high risk for self-harm. Published reports on suicide and the Holocaust identified by means of a MEDLINE literature search were reviewed. A similar search was performed on the Internet using the Google search engine. Thirteen studies were uncovered, 9 of which addressed the association of suicide and the Holocaust experience and 4 focused on suicide in the concentration camps during the genocide. Eleven of the 15 studies explicitly reported on the association of suicide, suicidal ideation or death by suicide with the Holocaust experience, or reported findings suggesting such an association. The Internet search yielded three sites clearly describing increased suicide rates in the concentration camps. An increased rate of suicidal ideation and suicide attempts among the elderly who were exposed to the Holocaust experience is confirmed. There is a need for further study, intervention and resource allocation among the growing numbers of elderly persons who suffered traumatic events in earlier phases of their lives. This is especially critical for Holocaust survivors.
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