Brandon Scott

Project Leader Brandon Scott, Ph.D.
MSU Department of Psychology
[email protected]

Native Americans (NA) are at greater risk for anxiety and depression early in life, with 10 to 39% of NA youth reporting clinical levels of anxiety or depression. This is concerning given potential negative effects of these conditions across the lifespan (substance use, suicide). Available culturally adapted prevention and early interventions (PEIs) for anxiety and depression in NA youth are limited. Thus, there is a critical need for the development and evaluation of a culturally consonant, brief prevention and early intervention (PEI) for anxiety and depression in NA youth using a community-based participatory research approach that includes youth and parents and mixed-method evaluation.

Our short-term goal is to provide our partner community with a potentially successful PEI to mitigate youths’ anxiety and depression that integrates culture and traditions for delivery in schools. The Specific Aims of the proposed research are to: 1) culturally adapt COMPASS for Courage (chosen by our Community Advisory Board) for NA youth; 2) evaluate the feasibility and acceptability of the culturally adapted COMPASS with NA youth; and 3) estimate effect size changes in anxiety and depressive symptoms of the culturally adapted COMPASS with NA youth.

We propose to build upon our strong community relationships and CBPR methods to achieve these aims. We will partner with the CAB to culturally adapt COMPASS for NA youth in Year 1 within a CBPR framework, including youth and parents. In Year 2, we will train three NA providers and pilot-test the adapted PEI among 30 8- to 12-year-olds in two schools serving youth from the reservation in Years 2 and 3. We will evaluate feasibility and acceptability using mixed methods, including focus groups of key stakeholders (youth, parents, and teachers), and estimate effect sizes of changes in anxiety and depressive symptoms using a pre-post, single-group design.

We hypothesize that youth will find the adapted COMPASS intervention to be acceptable, enjoyable, and culturally appropriate and that there will be pre- to post-intervention reductions in anxiety and depressive symptoms. Our long-term goal is to continue refining and tailoring the adapted COMPASS intervention and evaluate its efficacy and sustainability.