Date of Conferral







Carl Valde


Despite low life expectancy, high suicide and homicide rates, and excessive levels of poverty and violence, American Indians continue to survive. However, few researchers have assessed the correlates of resilience among adult American Indians. Current researchers assessing American Indian resilience have focused primarily on adolescents and preadolescents, resulting in a definition of resilience that is more often than not defined by the lack of negative youth outcomes. In this quantitative survey study, data were collected from 103 American Indians living off-reservation in a northwestern state. Gender, age, education level, degree of enculturation (using the Multigroup Ethnic Identity Measure), level of stressful life events (using the Life Events Checklist) were tested using linear regression as potential predictors of resilience (measured with the Resilience Scale). Results suggested that higher enculturation was associated with higher resilience; other predictors were not statistically related to resilience. It was surprising that the data did not support a relationship between trauma and lowered resilience. Implications for positive social change include understanding more clearly the role of enculturation in resilience; such knowledge can be used to foster activities that value local culture and can have a positive impact on mental and physical health.