The majority of research and programs for American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) youth focus on negative health behaviors and risks, ignoring the positive attributes that traditional AI/AN culture can provide. Therefore, it is critical to highlight the importance of incorporating traditional AI/AN worldviews and values into youth programming and health interventions. Accordingly, this article provides (a) a brief overview of AI/AN culture and historical policies and practices, (b) a description of the positive youth development (PYD) framework with a focus on research and programs that include AI/AN youth, (c) details on the strengths of AI/AN culture and how they can be incorporated into programming for AI/AN youth, and (d) examples of exemplary PYD programs for AI/AN youth.
- American Indian
- Positive youth development
- Traditional culture
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Life-span and Life-course Studies