Mclean Hospital

Video: Impact of Racial Discrimination and Trauma on Racial Health Disparities in African American Populations

Available with English captions.

Sierra E. Carter, PhD, Georgia State University – Visiting Scholar Series

Research has demonstrated that racial discrimination is a significant and impactful contributing factor in accounting for racial disparities in mental and physical health across the life course.

Within the racial discrimination literature, researchers have theorized about the extent to which experiences of racial discrimination can be viewed within the conceptualization of trauma as well as influence trauma symptoms (Bryant-Davis & Ocampo, 2005; Carter, 2007). Researchers further recognize the traumatic nature of experiences of racial discrimination and have demonstrated that these experiences can be associated with post-traumatic stress symptom reactions (Sibrava et al., 2019).

This presentation provides an overview of the ways in which racial discrimination impacts the health and well-being of African Americans, a marginalized population that disproportionately experiences racial health disparities influenced by race-related stress. This presentation also further explores the importance of examining racial discrimination in the conceptualization of trauma experiences and treatments.

Lecture focuses on:

  • Describing racism-related experiences (e.g., interpersonal, systemic/structural, & vicarious) and historical unjust legacies than can exacerbate current health disparities for African Americans
  • Explaining some of the unique challenges and clinical issues present in experiences of race-based stress and trauma among African Americans
  • Identifying potential avenues that can promote health equity and address the influence of racial discrimination on health
January 7, 2021

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