"I'm not one of them": Barriers to help-seeking among American Indians with alcohol dependence

Kamilla L. Venner, Brenna L. Greenfield, Belinda Vicuña, Rosa Muñoz, S. Bhatt, Victoria O'Keefe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


The majority of people with alcohol use disorders do not seek formal treatment. Research on barriers to help-seeking have only recently focused on ethnic minority populations. The present study investigated the extent to which an adult American Indian (AI) sample experienced similar and/or unique barriers to help-seeking as have been reported in the literature. Using both qualitative and quantitative methods, 56 (54% male) AIs with lifetime alcohol dependence completed a semistructured face-to-face interview and a self-administered written survey. Interviews were tape recorded, transcribed, and coded for four major themes: personal barriers, pragmatic barriers, concerns about seeking help, and social network barriers. Quantitative data provided percentage endorsing each survey item and strength of each barrier, which were categorized according to the four major themes. In previous research, most barriers questionnaires have not queried for cultural concerns or how the specific type of help may be a mismatch from the client's perspective. Given the rapidly changing racial/ethnic demography in the United States, further research addressing cultural and spiritual concerns as well as more common barriers is indicated.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)352-362
Number of pages11
JournalCultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Alcohol
  • American Indian/Alaska Native
  • Barriers
  • Native American
  • Treatment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science


Dive into the research topics of '"I'm not one of them": Barriers to help-seeking among American Indians with alcohol dependence'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this