Incorporating Traditional Culture Into Positive Youth Development Programs With American Indian/Alaska Native Youth

Denyelle Baete Kenyon, Jessica D. Hanson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

19 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)272-279
Number of pages8
JournalChild Development Perspectives
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1 2012



  • Adolescents
  • American Indian
  • Positive youth development
  • Prevention
  • Traditional culture

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies

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