Integrating Cultural Relevance into a Behavioral mHealth Intervention for Native American Youth

Morgan Vigil-Hayes, Ann Futterman Collier, Shelby Hagemann, Giovanni Castillo, Keller Mikkelson, Joshua Dingman, Andrew Muñoz, Jade Luther, Alexandra McLaughlin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Native American communities are disproportionately affected by a number of behavioral health disparities, including higher rates of depression, substance abuse, and suicide. As mobile health (mHealth) interventions gain traction as methods for addressing these disparities, they continue to lack relevance to Native American youth. In an effort to explore the design of relevant behavioral mHealth intervention for Native American communities, we have developed ARORA (Amplifying Resilience Over Restricted Internet Access), a prototype behavioral mHealth intervention that has been co-designed with Native American youth, a community advisory board, and a clinical psychologist. In this paper, we qualitatively analyze our co-design and focus group sessions using a grounded theory approach and identify the key themes that Native American community members have identified as being critical components of relevant mHealth designs. Notably, we find that the Native American youth who participated in our focus groups desired a greater level of didactic interaction with cultural and behavioral health elements. We conclude with a discussion of the significant challenges we faced in our efforts to co-design software with Native American stakeholders and provide recommendations that might guide other HCI researchers and designers through challenges that arise during the process of cross-cultural design.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number165
JournalProceedings of the ACM on Human-Computer Interaction
Issue numberCSCW1
StatePublished - Apr 22 2021


  • behavioral health
  • mhealth
  • native american
  • rural computing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Computer Networks and Communications


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