Critical Success Factors in Kaupapa Māori AOD Residential Treatment: Māori Youth Perspectives
There is a significant gap in the research literature regarding issues related to Māori rangatahi (Māori indigenous youth) alcohol and other drug (AOD) residential treatment. Historically, the majority of residential AOD treatment services for adolescents have been modelled on adult residential AOD treatment services which paid little, if any attention, to the developmental and cultural needs of indigenous youth. The lack of services available to address a young person’s developmental and cultural needs has often left indigenous youth with no alternative but to attend mainstream services, to which they may already feel alienated and have experienced a sense of diminished self worth and identity. One important way to ensure that developmentally and culturally appropriate treatment services are developed in the future is to understand what these services might look like from a youth perspective. Aim: This thesis aimed to explore the perspectives of Māori rangatahi, who had previously accessed a kaupapa Māori (Māori ideology) youth residential AOD treatment service, on the critical success factors in their treatment. Method and Procedure: Qualitative semi-structured individual interviews were conducted with ten Māori rangatahi, employing a kaupapa Māori framework. In order to ensure a diverse range of participants were interviewed, participants were randomly selected from the 65 youth who attended RA in 2009. Participants were asked a number of open-ended questions about their experiences of AOD residential treatment and what they thought worked and did not work for them while they were in residential AOD treatment. The data were transcribed and analysed utilising a general inductive approach. The data analysis was then refined through an applied thematic analysis to more effectively organise and identify key themes and subthemes. Findings: Māori rangatahi viewed kaupapa Māori AOD residential treatment as vital to their recovery and well-being. Success factors included multifaceted AOD programme interventions that reflected a positive youth development approach. The strength of incorporating Māori health concepts and Māori tikanga in lived practice in AOD treatment for rangatahi was conjointly supported. Kaupapa Māori treatment, that ‘lived’ Māori practice and values facilitated a sense of belonging among participants and served to help secure who they were as Māori youth. The findings from this study emphasised the critical importance of cultural interventions that are holistic, work with the young person ‘where they are at’, and encompass a broad range of areas to help support rangatahi in their recovery. There was unanimous agreement from the rangatahi in this study that there is a need for culturally appropriate, multifaceted, residential AOD youth treatment services which offer multiple interventions/components delivered through a holistic way of healing for Māori by Māori. The importance of including youth voices in the development, design and implementation of AOD services, especially in assisting to improve access and retention in treatment for Māori rangatahi, was also highlighted. Implications for Practice and Policy: Policies that incorperate easier access for young people and support their continuing care into or back into residential treatment are crucial in order to be more responsive to Māori rangatahi. It is vital that greater flexibility and diversity is offered in terms of treatment options and that interventions are relavent to the particular young person’s needs and support positive Maōri youth development. Overall, a comprehensive review of current practice, policy and funding levels to honor Te Tiriti o Waitangi is essential in order to address and implement the appropriate AOD treatment service needs of Māori rangatahi.
Advisor: Schroder, Ria; Deering, Daryle; McClintock, Kahu
Degree Name: Master of Health Sciences
Degree Discipline: National Addiction Centre, Dept of Psychological Medicine
Publisher: University of Otago
Keywords: Youth; Alcohol; Drug; Treatment; Rangatahi; Māori; Kaupapa Māori; Residential treatment
Research Type: Thesis