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The Impact of Individual and Parental American Indian Boarding School Attendance on Chronic Physical Health of Northern Plains Tribes

Running Bear, Ursula, PhD; Thayer, Zaneta M., PhD; Croy, Calvin D., PhD; Kaufman, Carol E., PhD; Manson, Spero M., PhD the AI-SUPERPFP Team

doi: 10.1097/FCH.0000000000000205
Health Equity

This study investigated the relationship of American Indian boarding school attendance and chronic physical health. We hypothesized boarding school attendance would be associated with an increased number of chronic physical health problems. We also examined the relationship between boarding school attendance and the 15 chronic health problems that formed the count of the chronic health conditions. American Indian attendees had a greater count of chronic physical health problems compared with nonattendees. Father's attendance was independently associated with chronic physical health problems. Attendees were more likely to have tuberculosis, arthritis, diabetes, anemia, high cholesterol, gall bladder disease, and cancer than nonattendees.

University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, Centers for American Indian and Alaska Native Health, Colorado School of Public Health, Aurora (Drs Running Bear, Croy, Kaufman, and Manson); and Department of Anthropology, Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire (Dr Thayer).

Correspondence: Ursula Running Bear, PhD, University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, Centers for American Indian and Alaska Native Health, Colorado School of Public Health, Mail Stop F800, Nighthorse Campbell Native Health Bldg, 13055 E. 17th Ave, Aurora, CO 80045 (Ursula.RunningBear@ucdenver.edu).

*The AI-SUPERPFP team includes Cecelia K. Big Crow, Dedra Buchwald, Buck Chambers, Michelle L. Christensen, Denise A. Dillard, Karen DuBray, Paula A. Espinoza, Candace M. Fleming, Ann Wilson Frederick, Joseph Gone, Diana Gurley, Lori L. Jervis, Shirlene M. Jim, Suzell A. Klein, Ellen M. Keane, Denise Lee, Spero Manson, Monica C. McNulty, Denise L. Middlebrook, Christina M. Mitchell, Laurie A. Moore, Tilda D. Nez, Ilena M. Norton, Douglas K. Novins, Theresa O'Nell, Heather D. Orton, Carlette J. Randall, Angela Sam, James H. Shore, Sylvia G. Simpson, Paul Spicer, Nancy Rumbaugh Whitesell, and Lorette L. Yazzie.

Research reported in this publication was supported by the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities under Award Number 2 U54 MD000507-15 (SM Manson, PI).

The authors declare no conflict of interest.

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