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01-03-2014 | Empirical Research | Uitgave 3/2014

Journal of Youth and Adolescence 3/2014

The Role of Goal Representations, Cultural Identity, and Dispositional Optimism in the Depressive Experiences of American Indian Youth from a Northern Plains Tribe

Tijdschrift:
Journal of Youth and Adolescence > Uitgave 3/2014
Auteurs:
Jason Tyser, Walter D. Scott, Tucker Readdy, Sean M. McCrea

Abstract

American Indian researchers and scholars have emphasized the importance of identifying variables that promote resilience and protect against the development of psychopathology in American Indian youth. The present study examined the role of self-regulation, specifically goal characteristics (i.e., goal self-efficacy, goal specificity, intrinsic vs. extrinsic motivation, and goal conflict) and dispositional optimism, as well as cultural identity and self-reported academic grades in the depressive experiences of American Indian youth from a North American plains tribe. One hundred and sixty-four participants (53 % female) completed measures of goal representations, cultural identity, dispositional optimism, academic performance, and depressive symptoms. Results supported a model in which higher goal self-efficacy, American Indian cultural identity, grade point average, and dispositional optimism each significantly predicted fewer depressive symptoms. Moreover, grade point average and goal self-efficacy had both direct and indirect (through dispositional optimism) relationships with depressive symptoms. Our findings underscore the importance of cognitive self-regulatory processes and cultural identity in the depressive experiences for these American Indian youth and may have implications for youth interventions attempting to increase resiliency and decrease risk for depressive symptoms.

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