Year of Award


Document Type

Professional Paper

Degree Type

Master of Arts (MA)

Degree Name

Clinical Psychology

Department or School/College

Department of Psychology

Committee Chair

Kimberly Wallace

Commitee Members

Jennifer Waltz, Gyda Swaney, Cynthia Garthwait


University of Montana


Recent studies have recognized discrimination as a stressor that is linked to psychological distress for those who experience such discrimination. The present study investigated the role of cultural identification as a moderator of the relationship between a global measure of perceived discrimination and depressive affect for a sample of older Native American adults, a group that has essentially been ignored in the empirical literature. The data were collected through surveys mailed to tribally-enrolled Native American adults aged 50 and older residing on a reservation in the Northwest. Multiple regression analysis was performed to test the moderating role of cultural identification. Analyses indicated that individuals who perceive more discrimination in their daily lives reported more symptoms of depressive affect. However, the present study found no statistically significant interaction effect between cultural identification and perceived discrimination, thus indicating that a strong identification with one’s cultural group did not serve to protect one from the harmful effects of discrimination in this particular sample. These results add to our knowledge concerning the factors that contribute to poorer mental health outcomes in older Native American adults.



© Copyright 2008 Rita Haidle Billow