Native Hawaiian Health and Drug Prevention in Rural Hawai`i

Lead Investigators

Susana Helm, PhD, Associate Professor Scott Okamoto, PhD, Affiliate Faculty
  • Principal Investigator – Puni Ke Ola
  • Consortium PI – Ho`ouna Pono
  • Principal Investigator – Ho`ouna Pono
  • Associate Professor of Social Work, Hawaii Pacific University
  • Research Faculty, UH Cancer Center

Community Partners – Puni Ke Ola
Substance use represents a significant health disparity among indigenous and minority populations in the U.S., including in Hawai`i. This is particularly problematic in rural communities where health promotion and prevention resources are limited. In addition, the majority of Hawaiians reside in rural areas of the State of Hawai`i. Furthermore, Native Hawaiian youth tend to have early substance use onset and higher use rates relative to their non-Hawaiian peers. Therefore the goal of this program of research is to develop culturally grounded substance use prevention with Native Hawaiian youth and communities. The Ho`ouna Pono project (PI Okamoto) is a school-based intervention targeting middle school aged youth. The Puni Ke Ola project (PI Helm) is a community-based intervention using the culture-as-intervention philosophy for substance use prevention among adolescents

Funding Sources

Puni Ke Ola Ho`ouna Pono
  • NIH, National Institute of Minority Health & Health Disparities, U54MD008149, RTRN Small Grant Award
  • NIH, National Institute of Minority Health & Health Disparities, G12 MD007601, BRIDGES Pilot Project Award
  • Society for Community Research & Action
  • University of Hawai`i – SEED Diversity & Equity Initiative
  • Queens Research Fund
  • NIH, National Institute on Drug Abuse, R01 DA037836-01
  • NIH, National Institute on Drug Abuse, R34 DA031306
  • NIH, National Institute on Drug Abuse, K01 DA019884

Peer Reviewed Publications

  1. 1. In Press Lauricella M, Valdez JK, Okamoto SK, Helm S, Zaremba C. (accepted 9/9/2015). Culturally grounded prevention for minority youth populations: A systematic review of the literature. The Journal of Primary Prevention.
  2. 2. 2015 Helm S. Native Hawaiian model of drug prevention. (Abstract from Cross cultural Health Care Conference), Hawaii Journal of Medicine and Public Health, 74(7)S1, 15. ISSN 2165-8218 http://hjmph.org/.
  3. 3. 2015 Helm S, Lee W, Hanakahi V, Gleason K, McCarthy K, Haumana. Using photovoice with youth to develop a drug prevention program in a rural Hawaiian community. American Indian and Alaska Native Mental Health Research, 22(1), 1-26. doi: 10.5820/aian.2201.2015.1. PMCID: PMC4401743 . [http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4401743].
  4. 4. 2015 Helm S, Baker CK, Berlin J, Kimura S. Getting in, being in, staying in, getting out. Adolescents’ perceptions of dating and dating violence. Youth & Society, advance online first March 2015, 1-23. DOI: 10.1177/0044118X15575290.
  5. 5. 2014 Helm S, Okamoto SK, Kaliades A, Giroux D. Drug offers as a context for aggression and violence perpetration and victimization. Journal of Ethnicity in Substance Abuse, 13(1), 39-57. DOI: 10.1080/15332640.2013.853015.
  6. 6. 2014 Okamoto SK, Helm S, Pel S, McClain L, Hill AP, Hayashida KKP. Developing evidence-based culturally grounded Drug prevention interventions for indigenous youth populations. Journal of Behavioral Health Services & Research, 41(1), 8-19 (online first 12/2012).
  7. 7. 2014 Okamoto SK, Kulis S, Helm S, Giroux D, Edwards C. The social contexts of drug offers and their relationship to drug use of rural Hawaiian youths. Journal of Child & Adolescent Substance Abuse, 23(4), 242-252. DOI:10.1080/1067828X.2013.786937.
  8. 8. 2014 Okamoto SK, Pel S, Helm S, Valdez J. Gender differences in the use of drug resistance strategies. An analysis of rural Asian/Pacific Islander youth. Health Promotion Practice, 15(4), 568-574. DOI:10.1177/1524839913507927 [NIHMSID: NIHMS524603].
  9. 9. 2013 Helm S, Okamoto SK. Developing the Ho`ouna Pono substance use prevention curriculum. Collaborating with Hawaiian youth and communities. Hawaii Journal of Medicine and Public Health, 72(2), 66-69. PMC3585502.
  10. 10. 2013 Okamoto SK, Helm S, McClain LL, Hill AP, Hayashida JKP. Gender differences in preferred drug resistance strategies of rural Native Hawaiian youth, Affilia, 28(2), 140-152. DOI: 10.1177/0886109913485704.
  11. 11. 2013 Zaha R, Helm S, Baker C, Hayes D. Intimate partner violence and substance use among Hawai‘i youth. An analysis of recent data from the Hawai‘i Youth Risk Behavior Survey. Substance Use & Misuse, 48(1-2), 11-20. DOI: 10.3109/10826084.2012.720334.
  12. 12. 2012 Okamoto SK, Helm S, Kulis S, Delp J, Dinson A.. Drug resistance strategies of rural Hawaiian youth as a function of drug offerers and substances: A community stakeholder analysis. Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved, 23(3), 1239-1252.
  13. 13. 2012 Okamoto SK, Helm S, McClain L, Dinson A. The development of videos in culturally grounded drug prevention for rural Native Hawaiian youth. Journal of Primary Prevention, 33(4), 259-269. DOI 10.1007/s10935-012-0281-0.
  14. 14. 2011 Okamoto SK, Helm S, Delp J, Stone K, Dinson A, Stetkiewicz J. A community stakeholder analysis of drug resistance strategies of rural Native Hawaiian youth. Journal of Primary Prevention, 32(3-4), 185-193; DOI 10.1007/s10935-011-0247-7.
  15. 15. 2011 Okamoto SK, Helm S, Giroux D, Kaliades A. “I no like get caught using drugs”: Explanations for refusal as a drug resistance strategy for rural Native Hawaiian youth. Journal of Cultural Diversity and Ethnicity in Social Work, 20(2), 150-166, doi: 10.1080/15313204.2011.570131.
  16. 16. 2010 Okamoto SK, Helm S, Giroux D, Kaliades A, Kawano KN, Kulis S. A typology and analysis of drug resistance strategies of rural Native Hawaiian youth. Journal of Primary Prevention, 31(5-6), 311-319. DOI 10.1007/s10935-010-0222-8.
  17. 17. 2010 Okamoto SK, Helm S, Poa-Kekuawela K, Nebre L, Chin CIH. Exploring culturally specific drug resistance strategies of Hawaiian youth in rural communities. Journal of Alcohol and Drug Education, 54(1), 56-75. [PMCID: PMC2922754].
  18. 18. 2010 Okamoto SK, Kulis S, Helm S, Edwards C, & Giroux D. Gender differences in drug offers of rural Hawaiian youth: A mixed methods analysis. Affilia: Journal of Women and Social Work, 25(3) 291-306.
  19. 19. 2010 Okamoto SK, Helm S, Giroux D, Edwards C, & Kulis S. The development and initial validation of the Hawaiian Youth Drug Offers Survey (HYDOS). Ethnicity & Health, 15(1), 73-92.
  20. 20. 2009 Poa-Kekuawela K, Okamoto SK, Helm S, Nebre L, & Chin CIH. ‘A‘ole drugs! Cultural practices and drug resistance of rural Hawaiian youth. Journal of Ethnic Identity & Cultural Diversity in Social Work, 18(3), 242-258. [NIHMSID: NIHMS124013].
  21. 21. 2009 Okamoto SK, Helm S, Poa-Kekuawela K, Nebre L, Chin CIH. Community risk and resiliency factors related to drug use of rural Native Hawaiian youth. An Exploratory Study. Journal of Ethnicity in Substance Abuse, 8(2), 163-177. [NIHMSID: NIHMS119307].
  22. 22. 2008 Helm S, Okamoto SK, Medeiros H, Chin CIH, Kawano K, Poa-Kekuawela K, Nebre L, Sele FP. Participatory Drug Prevention Research in Rural Hawai`i with Native Hawaiian Middle School Students. Progress in Community Health Partnerships, 2(4), 307-313. [PMCID: PMC2729072].
  23. 23. 2008 Rehuher D, Hiramatsu T, Helm S. Nationally Endorsed Evidence-based Youth Drug Prevention: A Critique with Implications for Practice-Based Contextually Relevant Prevention in Hawai‘i. Hawaii Journal of Public Health, 1(1), 52-61.

Back to Research Division Introduction