Child, Youth, and Family Studies, Department of


Date of this Version



Published in American Journal of Health Promotion 32:2 (2018), pp 274-281.

doi 10.1177/0890117116664708


Copyright © 2016 Nicolette I. Teufel-Shone, Julie A. Tippens, Hilary C. McCrary, John E. Ehiri, and Priscilla R. Sanderson. Published by SAGE Publications. Used by permission.


Objective: To conduct a systematic literature review to assess the conceptualization, application, and measurement of resilience in American Indian and Alaska Native (AIAN) health promotion.

Data Sources: We searched 9 literature databases to document how resilience is discussed, fostered, and evaluated in studies of AIAN health promotion in the United States.

Study Inclusion and Exclusion Criteria: The article had to (1) be in English; (2) peer reviewed, published from January 1, 1980, to July 31, 2015; (3) identify the target population as predominantly AIANs in the United States; (4) describe a nonclinical intervention or original research that identified resilience as an outcome or resource; and (5) discuss resilience as related to cultural, social, and/or collective strengths.

Data Extraction: Sixty full texts were retrieved and assessed for inclusion by 3 reviewers. Data were extracted by 2 reviewers and verified for relevance to inclusion criteria by the third reviewer.

Data Synthesis: Attributes of resilience that appeared repeatedly in the literature were identified. Findings were categorized across the lifespan (age group of participants), divided by attributes, and further defined by specific domains within each attribute.

Results: Nine articles (8 studies) met the criteria. Currently, resilience research in AIAN populations is limited to the identification of attributes and pilot interventions focused on individual resilience. Resilience models are not used to guide health promotion programming; collective resilience is not explored.

Conclusion: Attributes of AIAN resilience should be considered in the development of health interventions. Attention to collective resilience is recommended to leverage existing assets in AIAN communities.