Goldmann E, Aiello A, Uddin M, Delva J, Koenen K, Gant LM et al. Pervasive exposure to violence and posttraumatic stress disorder in a predominantly African American Urban Community: the Detroit Neighborhood Health Study. J Trauma Stress 24: 747-751

Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, New York, NY 10032, USA.
Journal of Traumatic Stress (Impact Factor: 2.72). 12/2011; 24(6):747-51. DOI: 10.1002/jts.20705
Source: PubMed


Exposure to traumatic events is common, particularly among economically disadvantaged, urban African Americans. There is, however, scant data on the psychological consequences of exposure to traumatic events in this group. We assessed experience with traumatic events and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) among 1,306 randomly selected, African American residents of Detroit. Lifetime prevalence of exposure to at least 1 traumatic event was 87.2% (assault = 51.0%). African Americans from Detroit have a relatively high burden of PTSD; 17.1% of those who experienced a traumatic event met criteria for probable lifetime PTSD. Assaultive violence is pervasive and is more likely to be associated with subsequent PTSD than other types of events. Further efforts to prevent violence and increase access to mental health treatment could reduce the mental health burden in economically disadvantaged urban areas.

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    • "First, prior research shows not only that trauma frequency is more extreme in African Americans living in impoverished urban areas, but also that the negative consequences of trauma may be more severe (Alim et al., 2006). For instance, African American urban residents who experience trauma are nearly two times more likely to develop PTSD than their lower risk counterparts (Goldmann et al., 2011). Lower income is also a significant predictor of more severe emotional psychopathology following trauma (Lowe et al., 2014). "
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    • "Details of the Detroit Neighborhood Health Study (DNHS) have been previously reported (Uddin et al., 2010; Goldmann et al., 2011; Uddin et al., 2011). "
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    • "Individuals without listed landlines or telephones and individuals with only a cell phone listed were invited to participate through a postal mail effort. Participants completed a 40 minute structured telephone interview annually between 2008–2012 to assess perceptions of participants’ neighborhoods, mental and physical health status, social support, exposure to traumatic events, and alcohol and tobacco use; each participant was compensated $25USD [7,8]. All survey participants were offered the opportunity to provide a blood specimen (venipuncture, blood spot, or saliva) for immune and inflammatory marker testing as well as genetic testing of DNA [9]. "
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