Positive Youth Development: Using Strengths to Address Alcohol Abuse and Suicide among American Indian and Alaska Native Youth.

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Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Center for the Application of Prevention Technologies.
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Intended for prevention practitioners, this brief promotes the use of a positive youth development framework that addresses both risk and protective factors to address alcohol abuse and suicide among American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) adolescents. It begins by providing an overview of the scope of these related problems in Indian Country and identifying four key factors that have been shown to protect AI/AN youth: attachment with caring adults, mastery and self-control, a sense of belonging, and spirituality. These factors are discussed and illustrative examples of positive youth development programs designed to strengthen these factors are described. Profiled programs include: the American Indian Life Skills Development Program, Family Spirit, Project Venture, the Red Cliff Wellness School Curriculum, Native H.O.P.E., the Wiconi Ohitika Suicide Prevention Project, the Arrowhead Business Group Apache Youth Entrepreneurship Program, and the Healing of the Canoe Project. A list of helpful resources is included. 65 references.

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