Sources of stress among midwest American Indian adults with type 2 diabetes

Jessica H.L. Elm, Melissa L. Walls, Benjamin D. Aronson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Despite alarming health disparities among American Indians (AIs) and acknowledgement that stressors negatively influence health, conceptualization of the full spectrum of stressors that impact Indigenous communities is underdeveloped. To address this gap, we analyze focus group transcripts of AI adults with type 2 diabetes from five tribal communities and classify stressors using an inductive/deductive analytical approach. A Continuum of American Indian Stressor Model was constructed from categorization of nineteen stressor categories within four domains. We further identified poverty, genocide, and colonization as fundamental causes of contemporary stress and health outcomes for AIs and conclude that stressors are generally experienced as chronic, regardless of the duration of the stressor. This work on AI-specific stressors informs future health research on the stress burden in AI communities and identifies target points for intervention and health promotion.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)33-62
Number of pages30
JournalAmerican Indian and Alaska Native Mental Health Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2019
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Anthropology
  • History
  • Psychology(all)
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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