Lumbee Indian youth and their cultural behaviors will be studied in a project that will be led by Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center and funded by the National Institutes of Mental Health.
Wake Forest Baptist, in partnership with the Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina, Maya Angelou Center for Health Equity and the University of North Carolina at Pembroke, will lead the two-year project called "Lumbee Rite of Passage," that will study the effects of Lumbee cultural influences on Lumbee Indian youth regarding suicide, self-esteem, depression and other mental health issues.
Adolescents from the Lumbee Boys and Girls Club will be recruited for the study that will compare youth who are participating in the culture classes offered by the Lumbee Tribe to those who have not participated in these classes.
"We are very pleased to partner with the Lumbee Tribe on this exciting project," said Ronny Bell, Ph.D., director of the Maya Angelou Center for Health Equity and professor of epidemiology and prevention. "Suicide among American Indian youth is a very serious problem and has only recently gained attention."
Bell is the lead investigator for the study and an enrolled member of the Lumbee Tribe. Elizabeth Arnold, Ph.D., associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral medicine is co-investigator for the study.
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