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, 20 (3-4), 352-71

"I'm in This World for a Reason": Resilience and Recovery Among American Indian and Alaska Native Two-Spirit Women

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"I'm in This World for a Reason": Resilience and Recovery Among American Indian and Alaska Native Two-Spirit Women

Jessica H L Elm et al. J Lesbian Stud.

Abstract

American Indian and Alaska Native sexual minority (two-spirit) women are vulnerable to substance misuse and mental health challenges due to multiple minority oppressed status and exposure to stress and trauma. Yet, these women find pathways toward healing and wellness. We conducted a qualitative data analysis of interviews derived from a national health study and gained an understanding of 11 two-spirit women's resilience and recovery patterns. Emergent from the data, a braided resiliency framework was developed which elucidates multilayered abilities, processes, and resources involved in their resiliency. We recommend that resilience-promoting strategies be incorporated into substance misuse and mental health interventions.

Keywords: Alaska Native; American Indian; Indigenous stress coping; culture; identity; lesbian women of color; mental health; qualitative research; recovery; resilience; sexual orientation; social determinants of health; social support; spirituality; substance use; two-spirit.

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