Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Educational Foundations & Research

First Advisor

Steven Lemire


American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) history represents a number of traumatic events inflicted upon each tribal generation that has yet to recover. These events have led to major consequences on the health of this population. AI/AN people experience the worst health disparities in the nation (Espey et al., 2014; Warne & Lajimodiere, 2015). Previous studies have shown that loss of land, cultural devastation, and inadequate health care access are associated with the high rates of health disparities endured by AI/AN people throughout North America (Walters, et al., 2011). AI/AN beliefs tell us that culture serves a fundamental role in managing good health and wellness. It is viewed as the primary vehicle for delivering healing among this population (Bassett, Tsosie & Nannauck, 2012). This study utilized the data from the, “Identifying Our Needs: A Survey of Elders VI,” which is a national AI/AN elder needs assessment. The purpose of this study was to describe the characteristics of the sample population and to conduct a binary logistics regression analysis to determine if cultural participation was an association with health outcomes among AI/AN elders, which included the three variables of health status, diagnosis of chronic disease, and nutritional health. The data analysis indicated the following results: (1) a positive association between cultural participation and self-reported health status; (2) no statistically significant relationship between cultural participation and diagnosis of chronic disease; and (3) no statistically significant relationship between cultural participation and nutritional health. The results can be used to address gaps in the literature in terms of cultural participation and health outcomes among AI/AN elders.

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