Yesenia Aguilar Silvan
& Lauren C. Ng
Linda Zheng & Molly Becker
Trauma Exposure Disparities for Latine Youth
By age 17, 46% of youth in the United States will have experienced at least one potentially traumatic event such as community violence or family separation (Sacks & Murphey, 2018). This major public health concern is associated with the development of mental health disorders, poor physical health, and early death in adulthood (Kalmakis & Chandler, 2015). Traumatic events have a dose-dependent relationship with health outcomes: as exposure to trauma increases, the severity of poor mental and physical health symptoms also increases. Among low-income, racial/ethnic, and immigrant minoritized groups, exposure to traumatic events is disproportionately higher (Haider et al., 2013; Sacks & Murphey, 2018). For example, Latine youth are more likely to witness violence in their neighborhood, have a guardian serve time in jail, and lack basic necessities like food and housing compared to non-Hispanic White adolescents (Sacks & Murphey, 2018). Despite having higher rates of traumatic exposure, racial/ethnic minority groups, such as Latine youth, are less likely to receive mental health services for trauma compared to non-Hispanic White patients (Haider et al., 2013; Zhang et al., 2021). Moreover, Latines with trauma initiate and stay in trauma treatment at lower rates than their White counterparts (McClendon et al., 2020; Youn et al., 2019). These inequalities disproportionately increase the risk of subsequent health problems among Latine youth.