The Culture is Prevention Project: Adapting the Cultural Connectedness Scale for Multi-Tribal Communities

Am Indian Alsk Native Ment Health Res. 2019;26(3):104-135. doi: 10.5820/aian.2603.2019.104.


The Culture is Prevention Project is a multi-phased communitybased participatory research project that was initiated by six urban American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) health organizations in northern California. Issues driving the project were: i) concerns about the lack of culturally informed or Indigenous methods of evaluating the positive health outcomes of culture-based programs to improve mental health and well-being; and ii) providing an approach that demonstrates the relationship between AI/AN culture and health. Most federal and state funding sources require interventions and subsequent measures focused on risk, harm, disease, and illness reduction, rather than on strength, health, healing, and wellness improvement. This creates significant challenges for AI/AN communities to measure the true impact of local strength and resiliency-based wellness programs. This paper focuses on the methods and results from Phase 3 of the Culture is Prevention Project where we adapted the 29-item Cultual Connectedness Scale (CCS), developed in Canada, to be appropriate for California's multi-tribal communities. The resulting new Cultural Connectivity Scale - California (CCS-CA) was developed by urban AI/AN people for urban AI/AN people. The process, instrument, how to adapt for your community, and implications are reviewed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Alaska Natives*
  • California
  • Child
  • Community-Based Participatory Research*
  • Culturally Competent Care*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Indians, North American*
  • Male
  • Mental Health Services*
  • Program Evaluation*
  • Psychometrics / instrumentation*
  • Psychometrics / methods
  • Urban Population