James Allen, PhD

Professor, Department of Family Medicine and BioBehavioral Health

James Allen

Contact Info

jallen@d.umn.edu

Office Phone 218-726-7144

Fax 218-726-7559

Office Address:
Memory Keepers Medical Discovery Team

Mailing Address:
Memory Keepers Medical Discovery Team
University of Minnesota Medical School, Duluth Campus
624 E 1st St, Unit 201
Duluth MN 55805

Professor, Department of Family Medicine and BioBehavioral Health

Graduate Faculty, Social & Administrative Pharmacy, College of Pharmacy

Adjunct Professor, School of Public Health, Academic Health Center


PhD, University of Montana (Clinical Psychology, APA-accredited), 1990

BA, University of Wisconsin-Madison (Psychology and History), 1984

Hutchings Psychiatric Institute, Pre-doctoral Internship in Clinical Psychology, APA-accredited,1989

Summary

I am a licensed psychologist with training in community and clinical psychology. My clinical interests include individual and family therapy, and assessment. Current work is in the implementation and testing of multilevel health promotion interventions in American Indian/Alaska Native rural communities.

Awards & Recognition

  • Fulbright Lecturer/Research Fellowship
  • Martin Mayman Award for Distinguished Contribution to Personality Assessment

Research

Research Summary/Interests

My research focuses on ways to enhance the capacities of American Indian/Alaska Native communities to promote their own health and well-being. My current emphasis is youth development and health as part of a long-term 25-year collaboration with rural Alaska Native communities. This collaboration has documented culture-based strategies for youth suicide and alcohol misuse prevention and is now testing their effectiveness. The Qungasvik (toolbox) intervention is a strength-based, community-directed and community-staffed approach that creates protective experiences to buffer risk factors and promote well-being. The second strand of this work is documenting and describing the role of community-level protective mechanisms, sometimes called cultural continuity, in the low suicide rates of certain communities within high suicide impacted regions of rural Alaska. A third effort seeks to understand cultural and spiritual factors individuals in Pacific Northwest and Northern Minnesota tribal communities are using in their recovery from opioid use. All these studies share focus at the intersection of culture, resistance, and health.

Research methods for this work include interview approaches to understanding cultural processes in health and well-being, and collaborative coding and interpretive analyses of these qualitative data with Indigenous community members. Quantitative approaches draw on my interests in classical and modern measurement theory, particularly in application with cultural distinctiveness, contemporary approaches to modeling for testing theory and intervention effectiveness, with particular focus on small population and small sample research, and recent developments in multilevel and Bayesian analysis approaches.

Driving all these efforts is an applied focus in intervention science. Recent work has concentrated on protective factors frameworks. As an alternative to the risk and deficit models, this framework can guide a fresh understanding of resilience processes and new, more effective intervention development.

Research Funding Grants

  • Alaska Native Collaborative Hub for Resilience Research, National Institutes of Health / National Institute of Mental Health, 1 U19 MH113138-01, Multiple Principal Investigator, $4,509,349, 06/1/17-6/1/2022 (total cost, total project period).
  • Administrative Supplement for 1 U19 MH113138-01 Alaska Native Collaborative Hub for Resilience Research, National Institutes of Health / National Institute of Mental Health, 1 U19 MH113138-01, $100,000.
  • Qungasvik (Toolbox): Prevention of Alcohol/Suicide Risk in Alaska Native Youth, National Institutes of Health / National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, National Institute of Mental Health, and Institutional Development Award (IDeA) program, R01 AA023754, Multiple Principal Investigator, $3,697,913, 09/1/15-09/1/2020 (total cost, total project period).
  • Administrative Supplement for 1R01AA023754-01: Qungasvik (Toolbox): Prevention of Alcohol/Suicide Risk in Alaska Native Youth, Multiple Principal Investigator, $225,000, 09/01/2017-08/31/2120.
  • American Indian Wellness through Research Engagement (AIWRE), Native American Research Centers for Health (NARCH), Northwest Indian College, 1 S06 GM123552-01, Co-Investigator, $4,983,328, 07/1/17-7/1/2022, (total cost, total project period).
  • University of Minnesota Clinical and Translational Science Institute: Community and Collaboration, National Institutes of Health / National Center for Advancing Translational Science, UL1TR002494-01, key personnel, $296,693, 03/30/2018-02/28/2023
  • Indigenous Cultural Understandings of Alzheimer's Disease and Related Dementias Research and Engagement (I-CARE), National Institutes of Health / National Institute of Aging, 1R56AG062307-01, co-I, $568,828, 09/01/2018-8/31/2023

Publications

Selected Peer-Reviewed Publications: see also: PubMed

  • Fitzgerald, H. E., Johnson, D. J., Allen J., Villarruel, F. A., & Baolian Qin, D. Historical and race-based trauma: Resilience through family and community. Adversity and Resilience Science. (in press).
  • Allen, J., Wexler, L., & Rasmus, S. Protective factors as a unifying framework for strengths-based intervention and culturally responsive American Indian and Alaska Native suicide prevention. Prevention Science. (2021, online ahead of print). doi: 10.1007/s11121-021-01265-0.
  • Allen, J., Rasmus, S., Fok, C. C. T., Charles, B., Trimble, J., Lee, K., & Qungasvik Team. Strengths-based assessment for suicide prevention: Reasons for Life as a protective factor from Yup’ik Alaska Native youth suicide. Assessment. 2021; 28(3):709-723. doi: 10.1177/107319111875789
  • Wexler, L., Rasmus, S., Ullrich, J., Flaherty, A. A., Apok, C., Amarok, B. Q., Black, J., McEachren, D., Murphrey, C., Johnson, R., & Allen, J. The development of a measure of Alaska Native community resilience factors through knowledge co-production. Progress in Community Health Partnerships: Research, Education, and Action. 2020;14(4):443-459. doi: 10.1353/cpr.2020.0050
  • Whitesell, N., Mousseau, A., Parker, M., Rasmus, S., & Allen, J. The evolution of research with Indigenous populations: Promising practices for promoting health equity through a rigorous, culturally informed intervention science. Prevention Science. 2020; 21 (Suppl 1):S5–S12. doi: 10.1007/s11121-018-0954-x
  • Stanley, L. R., Swaim, R. C., Kaholokula, J. K., Kelly, K. J., Belcourt, A., & Allen, J. The imperative for research to promote health equity in Indigenous communities. Prevention Science. 2020; 21 (Suppl 1):S13–S21. doi:10.1007/s11121-017-0850-9
  • Walters, K. L., Johnson-Jennings, M., Stroud, S., Rasmus, S., Charles, B., John, S., Allen, J., Kaholokula, J. K., Look. M. E., de Silva, M., Lowe, J., Baldwin, J. A., Lawrence. G., Brooks, J., Noonan, C. W., Belcourt, A., Quintana, E., Semmens, W. O., & Boulafentis, J. Growing from our roots: Strategies for developing culturally grounded health promotion interventions in American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian communities. Prevention Science. 2020; 21 (Suppl 1):S54–S64. doi: 10.1007/s11121-018-0952-z
  • Rasmus, S., Whitesell, N. R., Mousseau, A., & Allen, J. An intervention science to advance underrepresented perspectives and Indigenous self-determination in health. Prevention Science. 2020; 21 (Suppl 1):S83–S92 . doi: 10.1007/s11121-019-01025-1
  • Trickett, E. T., Rasmus, S. M., & Allen, J. Intervention fidelity in participatory research: A framework. Educational Action Research. 2020; 28(1), 128-141. doi: 10.1080/09650792.2019.1689833
  • Wendt, D. C., Hartmann, W. E., Allen, J., Burack, J. A., Charles, B., D’Amico, E., Dell, C. A., Dickerson, D. L., Donovan, D. M., Gone, J. P., O’Connor, R. M., Radin, S. M., Rasmus, S. R., Venner, K. L., & Walls, M. L. Substance use research with Indigenous communities: Exploring and extending foundational principles of community psychology. American Journal of Community Psychology. 2019; 64(1–2):146–158. doi: 10.1002/ajcp.12363
  • Rasmus, S., Charles, B., John, S., & Allen, J. With a spirit that understands: Reflections on a long-term community science initiative to end suicide in Alaska. American Journal of Community Psychology. 2019;64(1–2):34–45. doi: 10.1002/ajcp.12356
  • Allen, J. Suicide prevention—We know what to do, but will we do it? American Journal of Public Health. 2019;109(5):668–670. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2019.305013
  • Rasmus S. M., Trickett, E., Charles, B., John, S., & Allen, J. The Qasgiq Model as an Indigenous intervention: Using the cultural logic of contexts to build protective factors for Alaska Native suicide and alcohol misuse prevention. Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology. 2019;25(1):44-54. doi: 10.1037/cdp0000243

Books

  • National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. ( 2018). Improving health research on small populations: Proceedings of a workshop. Colditz, G. A., Allen, J., Kalton, G., Probst, J. C., Waller, L. A., Steering Committee. Kirkendall, N., White, J., Rapporteurs. Committee on National Statistics, Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education and Board on Health Care Services, Health and Medicine Division, Washington, DC: National Academies Press. doi: https://doi.org/10.17226/25112
  • Dana, R. H. & Allen, J. (ed.), (2008). Cultural competency training in a global society. NY: Springer.

Conference presentations

  • Rasmus, S., & Charles, B. & Allen, J. (April, 2018). A Yup’ik Alaska Native Model for CBPR and Interventions Reducing Risk for Youth Suicide and Alcohol Misuse. Center for Translational and Clinical Research Workshop. University of Montana. Missoula. MT.
  • Allen, J. (March, 2018). Precision Medicine, Forgotten Populations, and the Imperative for Tribally Controlled Research in Indigenous Communities. Summit for Native American and Rural Health, Minnesota Precision Medicine Collaboration, (MPMC) Grand Challenges Initiative, University of Minnesota Duluth campus, Duluth MN.
  • Charles, B., Rasmus, S., & Allen. J. (September 2017). Culturally grounded strategies to address social determinants of Alaska Native youth suicide by fostering community resilience.Native Children’s Research Exchange (NCRE). Denver, CO.
  • Allen. J., Rasmus, S., & Charles, B. (September 2017). Culture is prevention: Strategies to address social determinants of suicide/alcohol risk and foster resilience in Alaska Native communities. NIAAA Workshop to Explore Research Needs in Addressing Alcohol-Related Suicide. Rockville, MD.
  • Allen. J., Rasmus, S., & Charles, B. (August 2017). Cultural strategies for prevention to address social determinants of youth suicide and resilience in Indigenous communities. Network for Aboriginal Mental Health Research. McGill University, Montreal, Canada.
  • Allen, J., & Rasmus, S. (May 2017). Culture specific models of substance misuse recovery and protection: Applications to opiate misuse. Future Directions for Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) for Opioid Use Disorder (OUD) with American Indian/Alaska Natives (AI/ANs). NIDA Headquarters, Rockville, Maryland.
  • Allen, J., & Henderson, N. (March, 2017). Research in health disparities: Developing researcher-community collaborations. Precision Medicine and Health Disparities Summit, Minnesota Precision Medicine Collaboration, (MPMC) Grand Challenges Initiative, University of Minnesota Duluth campus, Duluth MN.
  • Charles, B., John, S., Nation, C, & Allen, J. (March, 2017). Qungasvik (toolbox) project: Utilizing a centuries old model of holistic community wellbeing through the Yup’ik Qasgiq model. Alaska Training Cooperative, 15 site national invited training session, originating from Hooper Bay Alaska.
  • Allen. J., Charles, B. Simeon, J., Jorene, J., Nation, C., Nu J., Shar, D., & Rasmus, S. (May 2016). Qungasvik “Toolbox”: A model for promoting reasons for life and well-being in Yup’ik communities. National Rural Health Association, Minneapolis, MN.
  • Allen. J., Rasmus, S., Charles, B., & Fok, C. C. T. (May 2016). Multi-Site Community Suicide and Alcohol Prevention Trial with Rural Alaska Native Youth: Outcomes from the Qungasvik Project.Symposium presentation at the Society for Prevention Research, San Francisco, CA.
  • Donovan, D., Venner, K., Rasmus, S., Charles, B., Allen, J., & Wendt, D. (March 2016). Community-based Culturally-adapted Substance Use Disorder Interventions for American Indians and Alaska Natives. Symposium presentation to the 4th Annual Collaborative Perspectives on Addiction Meeting: Reducing Health Disparities through Addiction Science and Practice, San Diego, CA.
  • Rasmus, S., & Allen J. (March 2016).Promoting resilience and well-being. Presentation at theArctic Monitoring and Assessment Programs /EU-PolarNet Stakeholder Workshop on Research Needs for Arctic Health and Wellness, Fairbanks, AK.
  • Rasmus, S. Charles, B., Nation, C., & Allen, J. (December 2015). Indigenous Intervention Science Model for Alaska Native Communities. Poster presentation at The Value of Tribal Ecological Knowledge (TEK) for Environmental Health Sciences and Biomedical Research Workshop,National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, cosponsored by the National Institute of Minority Health and Health Disparities, Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research, National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, National Institute of General Medical Sciences, National Institute of Drug Abuse, Bethesda, MD.
  • Charles, B., Rasmus, S., & Allen, J. (September 2015). The Qasgiq Model for Intervention in Suicide Prevention. In Chatwood, S., Stoor, J.P., Charles, B., Rasmus, S., & Allen, J. Community-Based Research on Mental Health and Suicide Prevention: Advances and Gaps, Peter, E. Moderator, Invited Symposium at Reducing the Incidence of Suicide in Indigenous Groups (RISING SUN) Workshop 1. National Institute of Mental Health, Canadian Institutes of Health Research, National Institute of Public Health – Denmark, Norwegian Institute of Public Health, Anchorage AK.
  • Rasmus, S., Charles, B., & Allen, J. (September 2015). Elluam Tungiinun “Towards Wellness” Project. Invited presentation to International Initiative for Mental Health Leadership (IIMHL) Match Meeting, Anchorage, Alaska.
  • Charles, B., Allen, J., & Rasmus, S. (August 2015). Alaska Native Cultural Engagement in Research to Reduce Disparities in Suicide and Alcohol Misuse.Invited faculty presentation to National Institute of Minority Health and Health Disparities2015 Translational Health Disparities Course; Integrating Science, Practice, and Policy.National Institute of Minority Health and Health Disparities, Bethesda, MD.
  • Kral, M. J., & Allen, J., (August, 2015). Community-Based Participatory Action Research, symposium presentation in Glenwick, D. & Jason, L. A., Community-Based Research: Qualitative, Quantitative, and Mixed Methods, American Psychological Association Convention, Toronto, Canada,
  • Allen, J., Rasmus, S. Charles, B., Joe, J., Fok, C. C. T., & Henry, D. (May, 2015). Community Intervention Development for a Prevention Trial with Rural Alaska Native Youth: Dose Effects in a Pilot Effectiveness Trial. Symposium presentation at the Society for Prevention Research, Washington, DC.

Teaching

Academic Interests and Focus

I have taught medical students on health services to Indigenous people and diverse cultural groups, population health, integrated services (with behavioral health), and rural health. I have also taught undergraduate lifespan developmental psychology, abnormal psychology, cultural psychology, and community psychology, and graduate courses in rural psychology, multicultural psychological assessment, multicultural psychotherapy, ethnicity and family therapy, psychopathology in cultural perspective, and community interventions for serious mental illness.