Racial Differences in Children’s Trauma Symptoms Following Complex Trauma Exposure
Arts and Sciences
Complex trauma exposure has been defined as multiple or chronic interpersonal trauma that begins early in life, which leads to widespread dysregulation. Previous studies have reported that minorities may be at greater risk for trauma exposure and symptoms; yet, racial differences have not been investigated in the context of complex trauma. The aim of the present study was to determine if there are racial disparities in children’s trauma exposure and outcomes among 167 child survivors of complex trauma (3-18 years, M = 9.90, SD = 3.92; 61.67% female; 62.2% Black). Black children endorsed a greater number of trauma types and were more likely to have experienced community violence and have been placed in child protective custody than Whites. Caregivers of White children endorsed higher levels of select internalizing symptoms and social concerns whereas Black children reported higher levels of sexual concerns than Whites. White children who experience complex trauma may be at higher risk for some trauma-related difficulties. Alternatively, caregivers of White children may perceive them to have, or be more willing to acknowledge, higher levels of symptoms than Black children. Future work is needed to further investigate the role of race in disclosure of trauma exposure and related symptoms.
Trombetta, Elise, "Racial Differences in Children’s Trauma Symptoms Following Complex Trauma Exposure" (2018). Symposium on Undergraduate Research and Creative Expression (SOURCE). 753.