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.
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.
Licensures and Certifications
Honors and Recognition
1035 University Drive, 141 SMED
Duluth, MN 55812