Reflections on a Proposed Theory of Reservation-Dwelling American Indian Alcohol Use: Comment on Spillane and Smith (2007)

Janette Beals, Annie Belcourt-Dittloff, Stacey Freedenthal, Carol Kaufman, Christina Mitchell, Nancy Whitesell, Karen Albright, Fred Beauvais, Gordon Belcourt, Bonnie Duran, Candace Fleming, Natasha Floersch, Kevin Foley, Lori Jervis, Billie Jo Kipp, Patricia Mail, Spero Manson, Philip May, Gerald Mohatt, Bradley MorseDouglas Novins, Joan O'Connell, Tassy Parker, Gilbert Quintero, Paul Spicer, Arlene Stiffman, Joseph Stone, Joseph Trimble, Kamilla Venner, Karina Walters

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

In their recent article, N. Spillane and G. Smith (2007) suggested that reservation-dwelling American Indians have higher rates of problem drinking than do either non-American Indians or those American Indians living in nonreservation settings. These authors further argued that problematic alcohol use patterns in reservation communities are due to the lack of contingencies between drinking and "standard life reinforcers" (SLRs), such as employment, housing, education, and health care. This comment presents evidence that these arguments were based on a partial review of the literature. Weaknesses in the application of SLR constructs to American Indian reservation communities are identified as is the need for culturally contextualized empirical evidence supporting this theory and its application. Cautionary notes are offered about the development of literature reviews, theoretical frameworks, and policy recommendations for American Indian communities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)339-343
Number of pages5
JournalPsychological Bulletin
Volume135
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2009

Keywords

  • American Indians
  • alcohol
  • problem drinking
  • reservation

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