The Intergenerational Effects of Relocation Policies on Indigenous Families

Melissa L. Walls, Les B. Whitbeck

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

90 Scopus citations


This research uses life course perspective concepts of linked lives and historical time and place to examine the multigenerational effects of relocation experiences on Indigenous families. Data were collected from a longitudinal study currently underway on four American Indian reservations in the Northern Midwest and four Canadian First Nation reserves where residents share a common Indigenous cultural heritage. This article includes information from 507 10- to 12-year-old Indigenous youth and their biological mothers who participated in the study. Results of path analysis revealed significant direct and indirect effects whereby grandparent-generation participation in government relocation programs negatively affects not only grandparent-generation well-being but also ripples out to affect subsequent generations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1272-1293
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Family Issues
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2012
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (DA13580) and the National Institute of Mental Health (MH67281), Les B. Whitbeck, Principal Investigator.


  • American Indians
  • First Nations
  • Native Americans
  • historical trauma
  • intergenerational transmission


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