The majority of American Indian (Al) families living in urban areas experience disproportional health disparities associated with substance abuse. These health disparities affect Al youth through higher rates, earlier initiation, and more severe consequences of substance use. The rapidly growing population of urban Al families is served by few evidence-based prevention approaches that are culturally grounded and reflective of specific socio-environmental forces shaping urban Al communities. Family disruption and substance abuse, stresses related to moving to urban settings, and difficulties in establishing and sustaining social and cultural connections frequently are mentioned as contributing to adverse health outcomes for urban Al youth. Using ecodevelopmental theory, this research will address gaps in knowledge of how contextual influences operating at peer, family/parental, school, and neighborhood levels influence substance use among urban Al youth in Arizona. The study will document the relative influence of factors at these different levels using a comprehensive model, test how positive and negative family influences interact with those at other levels, and examine how they may operate differently in subgroups of urban Al youth defined by gender, grade level, and heritage that is Al-only or mixed Al and non-AI heritage. The research uses a 2010 state-wide survey of youth substance use with large numbers of urban Al youth (N=3,450) living in a range of urban communities that vary in size and migration histories. The proposed study draws upon the project team's research, conducted at an NIMHD Center of Excellence, on the social determinants of Al family behavioral health, salient risk and resiliency factors, culturally appropriate strategies for resisting risk behaviors, and systematic methods for culturally adapting prevention programs. The study is designed to bridge science to practice and policy via partnerships with governmental and community-based health organizations to provide mechanisms for interpreting and disseminating findings;providing a foundation for translational research. The study will create essential knowledge about how to target and deliver prevention interventions comprehensively by identifying issues that urban Al youth and families face in urban contexts.

Public Health Relevance

The proposed study responds to a need, identified by urban Indian coalitions, to develop knowledge on how youth resistance/vulnerability to substance use differs in diverse array of Al urban families. Public health can be advanced through understanding how family, peer, school and neighborhood influences operate, how influences interact in combination, and how they vary across sub-groups of Al youth (e.g., gender, native only vs mixed to develop more effective substance use prevention interventions for urban Al families.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD)
Exploratory Grants (P20)
Project #
Application #
Study Section
Special Emphasis Panel (ZMD1-RN)
Project Start
Project End
Budget Start
Budget End
Support Year
Fiscal Year
Total Cost
Indirect Cost
Arizona State University-Tempe Campus
United States
Zip Code
Soltero, Erica G; Olson, Micah L; Williams, Allison N et al. (2018) Effects of a Community-Based Diabetes Prevention Program for Latino Youth with Obesity: A Randomized Controlled Trial. Obesity (Silver Spring) 26:1856-1865
Rentería-Mexía, Ana; Vega-López, Sonia; Olson, Micah L et al. (2018) Effects of a lifestyle intervention on markers of cardiometabolic risk and oxidized lipoproteins among obese adolescents with prediabetes. Public Health Nutr :1-8
Marsiglia, Flavio F; Ayers, Stephanie L; Han, SeungYong et al. (2018) The Role of Culture of Origin on the Effectiveness of a Parents-Involved Intervention to Prevent Substance Use Among Latino Middle School Youth: Results of a Cluster Randomized Controlled Trial. Prev Sci :
Petrov, Megan E; Weng, Jia; Reid, Kathryn J et al. (2018) Commuting and Sleep: Results From the Hispanic Community Health Study/Study of Latinos Sueño Ancillary Study. Am J Prev Med 54:e49-e57
Olson, Micah L; Rentería-Mexía, Ana; Connelly, Margery A et al. (2018) Decreased GlycA after lifestyle intervention among obese, prediabetic adolescent Latinos. J Clin Lipidol :
Kulis, Stephen S; Ayers, Stephanie L; Harthun, Mary L (2017) Substance Use Prevention for Urban American Indian Youth: A Efficacy Trial of the Culturally Adapted Living in 2 Worlds Program. J Prim Prev 38:137-158
Sangalang, Cindy C; Jager, Justin; Harachi, Tracy W (2017) Effects of maternal traumatic distress on family functioning and child mental health: An examination of Southeast Asian refugee families in the U.S. Soc Sci Med 184:178-186
Sangalang, Cindy C; Vang, Cindy (2017) Intergenerational Trauma in Refugee Families: A Systematic Review. J Immigr Minor Health 19:745-754
Williams, Allison N; Konopken, Yolanda P; Keller, Colleen S et al. (2017) Culturally-grounded diabetes prevention program for obese Latino youth: Rationale, design, and methods. Contemp Clin Trials 54:68-76
Petrov, Megan E; Vander Wyst, Kiley B; Whisner, Corrie M et al. (2017) Relationship of Sleep Duration and Regularity with Dietary Intake Among Preschool-Aged Children with Obesity from Low-Income Families. J Dev Behav Pediatr 38:120-128

Showing the most recent 10 out of 115 publications