Articles & Special Issues Race, Inequality & Social Mobility

A Comparison of Self-Reported Physical Health and Health Conditions of American Indian/Alaskan Natives to Other College Students

American Indian/Alaska Natives comprise a small portion of the general college student population, but often have the poorest health and wellness, as well as the highest dropout rates compared to any other race or ethnicity. Despite the well-documented issues this group faces in higher education, they are often ignored in studies due to their status as the minority within the minority, comprising only 0.8% of all college students in the US. This study examines the differences in college students’ overall ratings of health across racial and ethnic groups, focusing specifically on the health and wellness of AI/AN students compared to their counterparts. This paper also investigates the physical health issues students experienced in the past 12 months and the health issues’ impact on their academic achievement. Results showed that AI/AN students reported the lowest overall health ratings and the most health issues in the past year.

Project: Costs of Upward Social Mobility


Patterson, D. A., Van Zile-Tamsen, C., Black, J., Billiot, S., & Tovar, M. (2013). A comparison of self-reported physical health and health conditions of American Indian/Alaskan Natives to other college students. Journal of Community Health, 38(6), 1090–1097. doi:10.1007/s10900-013-9718-5