Risk-taking behavior among native American adolescents in Minnesota public schools: Comparisons with black and white adolescents

Enid Gruber, Ralph J. Diclemente, Martin M. Anderson

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract

Objectives. To examine rates of risk-taking behavior among native American adolescents in comparison with blacks and whites, and then to compare our off-reservation native American sample to available national statistics on reservation youth. Methods. A secondary data analysis of a Minnesota public school health survey. Contingency table analyses were performed on a 10% random sample of over 6000 young people focussing on three categories of behavioral risk: antisocial behavior, sexual behavior and substance use. Comparisons were then made to a national convenience sample from reservations and adjacent rural areas. Results. In general, native American adolescents have a significantly higher prevalence of risk behaviors across all indices of antisocial behavior and substance use relative to white and black peers. Native American females presented the most troubling picture. Comparisons to a national convenience sample from reservation lands indicated that native American adolescents in the sample often exceeded national rates of risk behavior. Conclusions. Residence and attendance at public schools outside reservation lands may make native American adolescents more likely to engage in risky behaviors which endanger their health.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)261-267
Number of pages7
JournalEthnicity and Health
Volume1
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1996

Keywords

  • Adolescents
  • Minority youth
  • Native American
  • Risk taking
  • Substance abuse

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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