Depressed affect and historical loss among north american indigenous adolescents

Les B. Whitbeck, Melissa L. Walls, Kurt D. Johnson, Allan D. Morrisseau, Cindy M. McDougall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

110 Scopus citations


This study reports on the prevalence and correlates of perceived historical loss among 459 North American Indigenous adolescents aged 11-13 years from the northern Midwest of the United States and central Canada. The adolescents reported daily or more thoughts of historical loss at rates similar to their female caretakers. Confirmatory factor analysis indicated that our measure of perceived historical loss and the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression scale were separate but related constructs. Regression analysis indicated that, even when controlling for family factors, perceived discrimination, and proximal negative life events, perceived historical loss had independent effects on adolescent's depressive symptoms. The construct of historical loss is discussed in terms of Indigenous ethnic cleansing and life course theory.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)16-41
Number of pages26
JournalAmerican Indian and Alaska Native Mental Health Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Anthropology
  • History
  • General Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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