Title

Ethnic-racial identity and posttraumatic stress disorder: The role of emotional avoidance among trauma-exposed community individuals.

Document Type

Article

Date of Original Version

1-1-2021

Abstract

Objective: There are ethnic-racial differences in the prevalence of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). However, the factors underlying these differences are not well studied or understood. The goal of this study was to explore the relation of strength of ethnic-racial identity to PTSD. Specifically, we examined whether strength of ethnic-racial identity was indirectly related to PTSD symptom severity through positive and negative emotional avoidance. Method: Participants were 401 trauma-exposed community individuals (Mage = 43.86 years; 70.1% female; 23.4% Asian, 23.7% Black, 25.1% Hispanic, 25.4% White). Results: Within the overall sample of ethnic-racial minorities, the indirect effect of strength of ethnic-racial identity on PTSD symptom severity through the pathways of both positive and negative emotional avoidance was significant. However, these findings were not replicated within each of the specific racial-ethnic subsamples. Specifically, while strength of ethnic-racial identity was indirectly associated with PTSD symptom severity through both positive and negative emotional avoidance in the Black subsample, this indirect effect was only significant through the pathway of positive emotional avoidance in the Hispanic subsample, and was nonsignificant in the Asian and White subsamples. Conclusions: Results underscore ethnic-racial differences in the way in which strength of ethnic-racial identity impacts PTSD. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2020 APA, all rights reserved) Clinical Impact Statement: There are ethnic-racial differences in the prevalence of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Our findings suggest that individuals with a weaker ethnic-racial identity are more likely to avoid emotions, which in turn is associated with greater severity of PTSD symptoms. The strength of these associations varied by ethnic-racial group. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2020 APA, all rights reserved)

Publication Title

Psychological Trauma: Theory, Research, Practice, and Policy

Volume

13

Issue

1

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