Perceived discrimination, traditional practices, and depressive symptoms among American Indians in the upper Midwest.

American Indian adults are thought to experience significant depressive symptoms at rates several times higher than adults in the general population, yet we know very little about factors associated with depressive symptoms among this under studied group. Many researchers have argued that depressive symptoms are associated with conflicts between American Indian traditional cultural values, practices, and beliefs and those of the majority culture. This report, based on a sample 287 American Indian adults from the upper Midwest, takes into account two measures of cultural effects: perceived discrimination, as one indicator of culture conflict, and traditional practices, as a measure of cultural identification. The results indicate that discrimination is strongly associated with depressive symptoms among American Indian adults and that engaging in traditional practices is negatively related to depressive symptoms. Moreover, interaction effects between perceived discrimination and traditional practices indicate that engaging in traditional practices buffers the negative effects of discrimination among those who regularly participate in them.