The tools to understand: Community as co-researcher on culture-specific protective factors for Alaska natives

James Allen, Gerald V. Mohatt, S. Michelle Rasmus, Kelly L. Hazel, Lisa Thomas, Sharon Lindley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

80 Scopus citations


A collaborative research process engaging Alaska Native communities in the study of protective factors in Alaska Native sobriety and the design of a preventative intervention using its findings is described. Study 1 was discovery oriented qualitative research whose objectives were identification of protective factors and development of a heuristic model. Study 2 involved quantitative survey methods to develop and test ameasure of protective factors identified by the qualitative study. Empirical data from these studies is presented, and the role of Alaska Native co-researchers who did not possess specialist research training is described in the design and implementation of the study, interpretation of findings, and design of the intervention model and tools. Benefits that emerged from co-researcher involvement in this process, to the community and to the co-researchers themselves, are described.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)41-59
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Prevention and Intervention in the Community
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Jul 26 2006

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Address correspondence to: James Allen, Department of Psychology, University of Alaska Fairbanks, Fairbanks, AK 99775-6480 (E-mail: The authors would like to thank all of the participants, field interviewers, research assistants, and their coordinating council for their assistance in completing this research. Research reported in this paper was funded by National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIH) and the National Center for Minority Health Disparities (NCMHD) 1RO1 AA 11446-03.


  • Alcohol
  • American Indian and Alaska Native
  • Participatory action research (PAR)
  • Prevention
  • Protective factors
  • Qualitative methods
  • Sobriety


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