Intergenerational Trauma: The Relationship between Residential Schools and the Child Welfare System among Young People Who Use Drugs

Peer reviewed: 
Yes, item is peer reviewed.
Scholarly level: 
Faculty/Staff
Final version published as: 

Barker B, Sedgemore K, Tourangeau M, Lagimodiere M, Milloy J, Dong H, Hyashi K, Shoveller J, Kerr T, DeBeck K. Intergenerational trauma: The relationship between residential schools & the child welfare system among young people who use drugs. J Adolesc Health. 2019 August; 65(2):248-254 PMID: 30948272. DOI: 10.1016/j.jadohealth.2019.01.022.

Date created: 
2019-08
Abstract: 

Purpose: This study investigated the relationship between familial residential school system (RSS) exposure and personal child welfare system (CWS) involvement among young people who use drugs (PWUD).

Methods: Data were obtained from two linked cohorts of PWUD in Vancouver, Canada and restricted to Indigenous participants. Multivariable logistic regression analysis was used to investigate the relationship between three categories of familial RSS exposure (none; grandparent; parent) and CWS involvement. A secondary analysis assessed the likelihood of CWS involvement between non-Indigenous and Indigenous PWUD with no familial RSS exposure.

Results: Between December 2011 and May 2016, 675 PWUD (age<35) were included in this study, 40% identified as Indigenous. In multivariable analyses, compared to Indigenous participants with no RSS exposure (reference), those with a grandparent in the RSS had a higher likelihood of having been in CWS (Adjusted Odds Ratio [AOR]=1.34, 95% Confidence Interval [CI]: 0.67-2.71), as did those with a parent exposed to RSS (AOR=2.03, 95% CI: 1.03-3.99). In secondary analysis, the odds of CWS involvement was not significantly different between non-Indigenous and Indigenous PWUD with no familial RSS exposure (AOR=0.63, 95% CI: 0.38–1.06).

Conclusions: We observed a dose-response-type trend between familial RSS exposure and personal CWS involvement, and a non-significant difference in the likelihood of CWS involvement between Indigenous and non-Indigenous PWUD when controlling for RSS exposure. These data demonstrate the intergenerational impact of the RSS on the overrepresentation of Indigenous youth in the CWS. Findings have critical implications for public policy and practice including reconciliation efforts with Indigenous Peoples.

Description: 

The full text of this paper will be available in August 2020 due to the embargo policies of Journal of Adolescent Health. Contact summit@sfu.ca to enquire if the full text of the accepted manuscript can be made available to you.

Language: 
English
Document type: 
Article
Rights: 
Rights remain with the authors.
Sponsor(s): 
U.S. National Institutes of Health
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