Kyle X. Hill

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)




The present study aims to examine resilience in Northern Plains Native American and Caucasian coliege students. Native Americans have been subjected to a traumatic existence, both, historically and presently through acts related to colonization. Thus, an examination of how and wny some individuals can thrive in the presence of great adversity, both past and present, will extend a great degree of understanding on the process of resilience.

Further, the investigation involved the use of a number of assessments to evaluate Native American and Caucasian college students on general characteristics of school achievement, past risk or trauma experience, a measure of resilience via endorsement of protective factors, and internal (psychological) adaptation. Ultimately, the present study sought to compare resilient and competent individuals, who are similar in outcome (i.e. college students at the university level), but divergent in risk or adversity experienced.

The study consisted of 93 participants (33 Native American. 60 Caucasian), recruited from the University of North Dakota main campus. Native American participants were from a variety of Northern Plains tribes. A simultaneous multiple regression, factorial Analysis of Variance (ANOVA), and Analysis of Covariance (ANCOVA), were utilized with a Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS), analyzing each dependent variable; with ethnicity, resilience. Northern Plains Biculturalism Inventory - Revised (NPBi-R) cultural classification, and stress exposure as predictors. Interactions were also analyzed to see if resilience served to negate or buffer against the negative effects of stress in Native Americans and Caucasian participants.

Results indicated that Native Americans endorsed higher scores on the resilier. ;e measure. Further, it was found that Psychological functioning was similar in Native American and Caucasian participants, regardless of cultural classification. GPA (Grade Point Average) and Credits completed were found to differ as Native Americans reported higher credits completed, and Caucasians reported higher GPA. Age was also found to share a relationship with stressful life experiences. NPBI-R cultural classifications were found to have no influence on differences in psychological functioning in Native Americans and Caucasian participants. However, participants that identified as being assimilated on the NPBI-R endorsed, on average, a significantly higher GPA than either that of participants who identified as marginal or traditional.

Included in

Psychology Commons