THE GRADUATE COLLEGE OF THE
UNIVERSITY OF OKLAHOMA HEALTH SCIENCES CENTER
ANNOUNCES THE FINAL EXAMINATION OF
FOR THE DEFENSE OF THE DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY DEGREE
GRADUATE NURSING DOCTORAL PROGRAM
December 13, 2012 3:00 pm
College of Nursing Building, Room 222
THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN HISTORICAL TRAUMA AND CULTURAL BUFFERS IN CHOCTAW NATIVE AMERICAN INDIAN MEN AND WOMEN WITH AND WITHOUT A DIAGNOSIS OF DEPRESSION AND/OR ALCOHOL ABUSE
COMMITTEE IN CHARGE: Karethy A. Edwards, Dr.PH., Chair, Renee Leasure, Ph.D., Beverly Patchell, Ph.D., John Lowe, Ph.D, Janet S. Wilson, Ph.D.
ABSTRACT: Native American Indians as a population have one of the highest prevalence rates of alcohol abuse and depression of any population group. Native historians have described the historical trauma experienced by Native American Indians as an antecedent to the mental health and substance abuse issues experienced today as a result of the loss of protective beliefs and practices. Therefore, the aim of this study is to examine and describe the inter-relationship of historical trauma (sources of stress), cultural buffers (coping mechanisms), and depression and alcohol abuse (health outcomes). The Indigenist Stress-Coping Model guided the approach of this descriptive correlational study. One hundred thirty-one Choctaw Native American Indians participated in this study that demonstrated a significant relationship between historical trauma/loss and historical loss associated symptoms (r = ─ 0.44, p < 0.0001), the cultural buffer spirituality and religiosity (r = - 0.21, p = 0.014), and mental problems (r = ─ 0.18, p = 0.041). Also, those who used alcohol had 1.79 time higher odds of having mental health problems, 1.79 time higher odds of comfort with providers/healers, 1.23 higher odds of finding providers helpful in addressing emotional problems, and 1.54 higher odds of having physical problems. There were also significant correlations between historical loss, social and cultural attitudes (r = -0.24, p = 0.006), between historical loss and spirituality/religiosity (r = -0.21, p = 0.014), and between historical loss and mental health problems (r = -0.18, p = 0.041). The results indicate the variables of depression and alcohol abuse, traditional healing and physical problems significantly discriminated between men and women. The significant correlation between trauma, spirituality/religiosity and health outcomes demonstrates that cultural buffers whether traditional or non-traditional play a role as moderators to and predictors of health outcomes.