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Psychol Bull. 2009 Mar;135(2):344-346.

On the Pursuit of Sound Science for the Betterment of the American Indian Community: Reply to Beals et al.

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1
Department of Psychology, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY.

Abstract

We argue that ongoing criticism of existing theories, the development of alternative theories, and empirical theory tests offer the best chance for advancing American Indian research. We, therefore note our appreciation for Beals et al.'s comments. We nevertheless did disagree with many of Beals et al.'s specific claims, noting that (a) our characterization of the existing literature on reservation-dwelling American Indian drinking was accurate; (b) no argument made by Beals et al. undermines their theoretical contention that there is a relative lack of contingency between access to basic life reinforcers and sobriety on many reservations; (c) our theory was developed in a responsible manner: a reservation-tied American Indian developed the theory, which was reviewed by a reservation leadership team, a cultural consultant, and reviewers for this journal, at least one of whom consulted leaders of other reservations; and (d) our theory was based on previous interdisciplinary theory development. We encourage the development and testing of new, alternative theories.

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