SCC-IRG Track 1: Qoyangnuptu: Smart, Connected, and Culturally-centered System to Support the Well-being of Hopi/Tewa Youth
Across the nation, behavioral health concerns for youth are on the rise. In this context, American Indian and Alaska Native (AIAN) youth experience behavioral health disparities at some of the highest rates in the United States. Even as behavioral health services are becoming more available through mobile health and telehealth interventions, the lack of ubiquitous, high-speed Internet connectivity in rural tribal communities prevents many AIAN youths from accessing these critical services. It is in this context that we have partnered with the Hopi community to propose the Qöyangnuptu Intervention (QI), a sociotechnical system of care that integrates mobile healthcare (mHealth), relational support systems, and cultural ways of well-being. This project will combine community expertise with the expertise of clinical psychologists, education researchers, and computer scientists to pilot the QI. Importantly, this project will engage Hopi community members as co-researchers who will help shape our research design and pilot as we carry out the project. This project anticipates research outcomes will be helpful to many different communities who experience pernicious health and digital disparities, including other tribal communities, migrant communities, and rural communities.
The QI Pilot will allow us to answer the research questions that drive our social science and technological Research. These questions include: (1) In AIAN communities with unique cultural characteristics, how should a youth-focused sociotechnical behavioral health intervention be designed to encourage sustained engagement and positively impact indicators of mental health?; and (2) How can interactive technical interventions be designed to best support sustained community engagement in a challenged network environment? This project will utilize an interdisciplinary approach to designing, piloting, and evaluating the QI; we integrate research expertise from clinical psychology, special education, human-computer interaction, computer networking, and public health. This project will take a participatory action research approach to ensure that our research is community-driven. This project will produce five key research outcomes: (i) QI App that enables Hopi youth to engage with culturally-tailored interactive experiences to build social and emotional resilience; (ii) a cross-age peer mentorship program facilitated through the QI App; (iii) family resilience workshops that raise awareness and literacy about behavioral at a community level; (iv) a community-curated database of behavioral health resources that help guide Hopi youth and families to relevant and accessible resources; and (v) digital skills workshops focused on training Hopi youth in the technical dimensions of app development.
This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.