A Systematic Review of Research Methodologies in American Indian and Alaska Native Suicide Research From 2010 to 2020

Little Dove F. Rey, Andrea Wiglesworth, Micah L.Prairie Chicken, Anna Kawennison Fetter, Michael Azarani, Amy Riegelman, Joseph P. Gone

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Objectives: American Indians and Alaska Natives (AIANs) experience significant disparities in their prevalence of suicidal ideation, attempts, and deaths when compared to all other racial/ethnic groups in the United States. In this systematic review (SR), we aim to examine the methodologies employed in AIAN suicide research during the past decade to highlight successful methodological practices and provide suggestions for improving future research. Method: The authors followed guidance by Siddaway et al. (2019) for conducting SRs. The databases PsycINFO, Ovid Medline, The Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature (CINAHL), Education Resources Information Center, Bibliography of Native North Americans, Sociological Abstracts, and Academic Search Premier were searched for scientific articles published between 2010 and June 5, 2020 that specifically focused on AIAN suicide. The search yielded 937 citations; 240 full-text articles were screened for inclusion, and 72 articles were included in this review. Results: Findings revealed significant heterogeneity among methodologies employed in the corpus, making it difficult to draw robust conclusions about AIAN suicide. Notably, research partnerships that were initiated by an AIAN Tribal Nation in collaboration with a research team yielded meaningful contributions and positive outcomes as compared to traditional community-based participatory research approaches. Finally, several critical gaps in the literature emerged including a lack of data on sexual and gender minority AIANs, urban, and multiracial AIANs. Conclusions: Based on these findings, we propose the following recommendations: (a) standardize the assessment of suicide; (b) increase partnerships between Tribal Nations and researchers; and (c) pursue research centering specific high-risk populations (e.g., urban, sexual and gender minority, and multiracial AIANs).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)358-371
Number of pages14
JournalCultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Feb 28 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 American Psychological Association


  • Alaska native
  • American indian
  • Research methodologies
  • Suicide
  • Systematic review

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Systematic Review
  • Journal Article


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