- Sara F. Waters, PhD
- Alvina Marris, PhD
- Myra Parker, PhD
Research Project Description
Many American Indian and Alaska Natives (AIAN) communities have experienced a disproportionate level of trauma from both historical and contemporary perspectives. Abundant research links the experience of trauma, especially early in life, to a myriad of poor health outcomes across the lifespan. Intervening to address the legacy of early trauma, may be a high impact mechanism, for addressing the health disparities manifested within AIAN communities. Using such interventions to address health equity, though, requires moving beyond adoption of mainstream programs within AIAN communities. We propose a project to experimentally evaluate the effects of a novel trauma intervention program based on reclaiming the native knowledge, traditions, values, and practices of the Colville Tribes in alignment with the evidence-based science on ameliorating the impacts of intergenerational trauma. Using both community-based participatory research approaches and a randomized controlled design, we will assess health and well-being outcomes for the child and the caregiver as well as for the larger community. At the same time, our project will contribute to the Colville Tribes’ efforts to build tribal health research capacity and sovereignty over the research process: drawing upon Indigenous solutions to Indigenous challenges. The results of the project will strengthen the Colville Tribal community while providing a model for such work in other AIAN communities nationally.
Sara F. Waters, PhD
Sara Waters is an Assistant Professor of Human Development at Washington State University Vancouver. Her research focuses on the impacts of stress and trauma during infancy and early childhood on development and the child-caregiver bond as a protective factor for children's health.
Alvina Marris, PhD
Alvina Marris is the Clinical Psychologist for the Colville Confederated Tribes. While she was trained from the scientist-practitioner model, she has primarily worked as a practitioner since her graduate training. As a Colville Tribal member who actively participates in her cultural traditions, Dr. Marris has recognized the importance of revitalizing and incorporating culture to ameliorate the negative impacts of intergenerational trauma on the health and well-being of AIAN communities. Her research interests are in developing evidence based treatments that incorporate cultural knowledge, practices, and values.
Myra Parker, PhD
Myra Parker (Mandan-Hidatsa-Cree) is an assistant professor in the Center for the Studies of Health and Risk Behavior in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, in the University of Washington School of Medicine. Her background in law and policy has informed a broader understanding of the principles of ethics as well as honed her skills in identifying methods to address the disparities in research control and access through the use of formalized agreements.