Date of Award:

1997

Document Type:

Dissertation

Degree Name:

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department:

Psychology

Advisor/Chair:

Kenneth W. Merrell

Abstract

It has only been recently that research in childhood psychopathology has focused

on a group of disorders referred to as internalizing disorders. Internalizing disorders can

include such problems as depression. anxiety, social withdrawal, and somatic complaints.

Even though research has begun to focus on internalizing disorders with majority

children. there has been very little research conducted on ethnic minority children, Native

American children in particular.

The present study involved obtaining a Native American sample and determining

their internalizing symptomology utilizing the Internalizing Symptom Scale for Children

(ISSC), the Reynolds Child Depression Scale (RCDS), and the State Trait Anxiety

Inventory for Children (ST AIC). The study sample was compared to a matched

normative sample from the ISSC database. Statistical procedures included bivariate

correlations, analysis of variance (ANOV A), and discriminant function analysis.

Correlations between the ISSC and the two comparison measures (RCDS and ST AIC)

were in the expected direction and of moderate to strong magnitude. The total

internalizing symptoms scores of the Native American (Lakota Sioux) sample were

similar to those of a matched comparison group from the ISSC national normative database.

However, the study sample evidenced a unique pattern of responses on the ISSC

subscales, reporting lower rates of both internalizing distress and positive affect. Teacher

nominations of potential "internalizers" proved to be a poor predictor of their self-reported

symptoms. Implications of this study for clinical practice and future research

directions in this area are discussed.

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