Date of Award

January 2013

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Justin D. McDonald


The purpose of this study was to determine if Northern Plains AI adolescents identifying oneself as being "traditional' or "non-traditional" as measured by the Northern Plains Bicultural Inventory III (NPBI-III) would affect health-risk behavior scores as measured by the Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS). It was hypothesized that American Indian adolescents identifying as traditional would have lower health- risk behaviors and that cultural identification would influence health-risk behaviors between males and females.

Northern Plains AI adolescents (N=60, age 14 to 19) were administered the YRBS and NPBI-III during the 2012 UNDIA Time out Wacipi Powwow in Grand Forks, ND. Results suggested females were less likely to engage in sexual behaviors that contribute to unintended pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases including HIV infection than males. Participants identifying themselves as traditional were less likely be inactive and overweight than those who identified themselves as non-traditional. The present study provided insight into gender differences and cultural identification in regards to Northern Plains American Indian adolescent health-risk behaviors.