American Indian youth: Personal, familial, and environmental strengths

Arlene Rubin Stiffman, Stacey Freedenthal, Laura House, Emily Ostmann, Man Soo Yu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

56 Scopus citations


We present data from interviews with 401 youths on the relationship of personal, familial, and environmental strengths to the outcomes of urban and reservation American Indian youths. Urban youths consistently nominated more strengths than tribal youths, except in the area of tribal strengths. Quantitative data show how those strengths relate to their school success, daily functioning, mental health, and ethnic identity. Personal and familial strengths are related to positive school success and functioning. Environmental strengths demonstrate complex relationships in which tribal strengths are related to increased mental health problems and school strengths are related to fewer problems. The results of our study speak to the need to include multiple categories of different strengths in research and to focus on strengths as well as problems in clinical interventions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)331-346
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Child and Family Studies
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2007


  • American Indian
  • Mental health
  • Strengths
  • Youth

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies


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