ASPPH logo


Member Research & Reports

Member Research & Reports

WashU: Native American Students More Likely to be Victims of Violence

Native American undergraduate students had the highest rates of being physically assaulted, verbally threatened, and being in relationships characterized by emotional or sexual violence, according to new research from the Brown School at Washington university in St. Louis.

[Photo:  Dr. David A. Patterson Silver Wolf]

Researchers conducted a secondary analysis of data from the National College Health Assessment, including 2,103 Native American students.

In addition to the high rates of being victimized by violence, Native American students were most likely to report that alcohol use, physical assaults, and sexual assaults adversely affected their academics.

“Stress stemming from experience with racism could make Native American students targets for victimization,” wrote senior author Dr. David A. Patterson Silver Wolf, associate professor at the Brown School. “Native American students often describe feeling isolated at colleges, due in part to the attitudes and behaviors of fellow students and faculty.”

“It is imperative that higher education professionals provide ongoing support to Native American students in light of the significantly high rates of violence and victimization that they experience,” the authors concluded, including “creating spaces within educational systems that promote Native American ways of being and knowing.”

According to Dr. Patterson Silver Wolf, “Academic success is related to students being able to solely focus on scholarship. Native American students unfortunately cannot enjoy the safety of scholarly life on college campuses across the United States, being forced to endure the debilitating aftermath of physical and sexual violence.”

The study is one of the first studies to document rates of victimization among a national sample of Native American college students and to examine the effects of victimization and substance use on academics. It was published in the April issue of the Journal of College Student Development.

To read more, click: