Critical Success Factors in Kaupapa Māori AOD Residential Treatment: Māori Youth Perspectives

by Mino’aka Kapuaahiwalani-Fitzsimmons

Institution: University of Otago
Year: 0
Keywords: Youth; Alcohol; Drug; Treatment; Rangatahi; Māori; Kaupapa Māori; Residential treatment
Record ID: 1310361
Full text PDF: http://hdl.handle.net/10523/5596


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…