Online to Support ABRC Research
Sponsor: National Institute if Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism
aims of the Journeys of the Circle project are 1) to
reduce the risk of harm and the potential for addiction once
experimental and initial substance use has occurred, 2) to
prevent other Native youth from experimenting with substances
while aiding them in maintaining abstinence, and 3) to help Native youth
identify other behavioral choices for social interactions that offer
alternatives to drinking and violence.
The Journeys of the Circle project is a partnership between the Addictive
Behaviors Research Center and the Seattle Indian Health Board (SIHB),
a nonprofit organization
serving the health needs of the Native community in King County, Washington,
for more than 30 years. Originally, the project aimed to develop a pilot
test of two promising treatment programs for Native adolescents: A Life
Skills program and
a Native 12-Step approach. However, implementation of the project proved
challenging. Subsequently, the goal became to pilot test a Native adaption
of a Life Skills intervention that could be incorporated into existing
services for urban Native adolescents.
The project developed a culturally congruent life skills course
entitled Canoe Journey, Life’s Journey.
Drawing on the Northwest Native tradition of the canoe journey, a metaphor
was constructed in which the canoe journey served as a metaphor for life
skills essential to bicultural competence. Participants received an
eight-session life skills course, which used aspects of the canoe journey
as well as other Native symbols (e.g., the Medicine Wheel) to teach skills
such as communication, decision-making, and goal setting as well as providing
information about alcohol and drug use and its consequences.
sample population was recruited from Seattle Public School enrollments
and outpatient service contacts at SIHB. The majority of participants
were Native adolescents living in an urban setting. Data analysis
is currently underway, however preliminary results show a positive trend
with regard to the Situational
Questionnaire, a measure of self-efficacy that assesses confidence
in one’s ability to resist alcohol and drug use in certain settings.
For a list
of related publications, click here.