A systematic review of culturally focused interventions for Native Hawaiian youth


  • Mei Linn Park University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
  • Mapuana Antonio
  • Pālama Lee
  • Rachel Burrage
  • Kawika Riley
  • Kahele Joaquin
  • Kilohana Haitsuka
  • Noreen Mokuau


Kānaka Maoli, Native Hawaiian, Indigenous, Youth, Intervention, Program, Culture, Self Determination


Native Hawaiians are a resilient nation with a rich history and culture with specific health and wellbeing needs and disparities, particularly for youth. This study presents a review of published literature focusing on culturally focused interventions for Native Hawaiian youth to better understand key components, service gaps, and concerns that may improve future health interventions tailored to Native Hawaiian youth that protect and promote positive health outcomes, a sense of agency, and self-determination. The purpose of this article is to (a) present a review of the literature focusing on culturally focused interventions as it relates to health and wellbeing of Native Hawaiian youth and (b) identify limitations and gaps to promote future research. This systematic review focuses on 19 distinct culturally focused interventions geared toward Native Hawaiian youth. The findings provide a summary of culturally focused interventions geared toward Native Hawaiian youth including interventions’ aims, components (youth participants description and methods), outcomes, and cultural components, while exposing gaps in the literature.  Most interventions were education and substance use/misuse prevention oriented, on the island of O‘ahu, geared toward older youth, and qualitative in nature. The cultural components utilized in the interventions varied in description and type. All of the studies reported positive results to support the effectiveness of the intervention. This review enriches the field of study for researchers (past, present, and future) by building awareness, encouraging collaboration, and identifying where culturally focused intervention efforts are underdeveloped or nonexistent to provide direction for future interventions.


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