Date of Award

January 2014

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Justin Douglas McDonald


Native Americans experience a disproportionately high incidence of many medical and mental health conditions including post-traumatic stress disorder as a result of physical and sexual abuse. Thus, it is critical to conduct valid therapeutic assessments if we are to accurately diagnose and treat the effects of abuse. However,

current therapeutic tools were developed and normed on the White majority population and may not be as valid for Native Americans.

The purpose of this study was to determine if cultural participation reduced post-traumatic stress symptom reduction in Northern Plains American Indian adults. This study used the Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) Questionnaire, the American Indian Biculturalism Inventory - Northern Plains (AIBI - NP), and the PTSD-8: A Short PTSD Inventory (PTSD-8), as measures. It was hypothesized adult

American Indians, participating in traditional cultural events and activities, would have lower scores on the ACE questionnaire and PTSD-8 than adults that do not participate in traditional activities. It was also hypothesized adult American Indians, having minimal or no participation in traditional cultural events and activities and having higher scores on the ACE questionnaire, would have higher PTSD-8 scores than adults that participate in traditional activities. Further, it was hypothesized Native American men obtaining higher scores on the AIBI-NP would have lower PTSD symptom scores when compared to females scoring high on the AIBI-NP.

Northern Plains American Indian adults (N = 44, age 18 to 59) were

administered the ACE, AIBI - NP, and the PTSD-8 during the 2014 University of North Dakota Indian Association Time Out Wacipi Powwow in Grand Forks, ND. Results suggested those participants over 30 years of age having high American Indian identification have lower PTSD than individuals over 30 with low American Indian identification and those 30 and under who had high cultural identification. The present study provided insight into age differences and cultural identification, which may serve as a protective factor in Northern Plains American Indian adults.