Community-engaged and culturally relevant research to develop behavioral health interventions with American Indians and Alaska Natives


American Indians and Alaska Natives experience pervasive mental, behavioral, and physical health disparities, yet access to culturally relevant and evidenced-based programs (EBPs) are severely limited. The purpose of this research is to describe the process of conducting a rigorous and culturally sensitive research approach, which was used to inform the development of a family-based substance abuse and violence prevention program that promotes resilience. The focus of this article is on the process of this development, rather than the intervention itself. We utilize a convergent mixed-methods design with distinct tribes in the Southeast that included 436 research participants across individual, family, and focus group interviews, field notes and existing data, and a quantitative survey (n = 127). This community-engaged, culturally sensitive, and rigorous research methodology provides a road-map for developing culturally relevant interventions.