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Racial and Ethnic Factors

The roles of race, ethnicity, and culture as risk or protective factors for developing posttraumatic stress symptoms (PTSD) following a trauma have been widely researched. Although the subtleties regarding the definitions of race, ethnicity, and culture have been discussed elsewhere and go beyond the scope of this brief entry, numerous reports in the adult trauma literature highlight the relative impact of these constructs on traumatic stress outcomes. The often-cited empirical review by Norris and Elrod presents evidence to support the notion that minority groups tend to display more distress and/or fare poorly compared with majority groups following three types of traumatic events, namely natural disasters, technological disasters, and mass violence. Similarly, others have found strong group differences in the prevalence of PTSD following Hurricane Andrew: ...

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