Risk and resilience among families in urban AI/AN communities: The role of young adults


Urban American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) young adults and their families are often geographically or socially distant from tribal networks and traditional social support. Young adults can be especially vulnerable to cultural and social disconnection, so understanding how AI/AN family functioning can augment resilience and protect against risk is important. This research precedes a preventive substance use intervention study and explores urban Native family functioning, emphasizing the role of young adults by analyzing data from 13 focus groups with urban AI/AN young adults (n = 32), parents (n = 25), and health providers (n = 33). We found that young adults can and want to become agents of family resilience, playing active roles in minimizing risks and strengthening family functioning in both practical and traditional ways. Also, extended family and community networks played a vital role in shaping family dynamics to support resilience. These resilience pathways suggest potential targets for intervention.

Urban Indians