Overall Health Indicators

Individuals and communities that have experienced poverty and racism may also face multi-generational trauma. This can result in chronic stress, increased risk of disease, and overall poorer health for communities of color.

About this data story

Individuals and communities that have experienced poverty, racism, discrimination, and racial segregation may also face trauma as a result. Historical trauma is “multi-generational trauma experienced by a specific cultural group.” Historical trauma can impact people living in families that have previously experienced severe trauma, war, genocide, poverty, and/or discrimination.1 This lived historical experience can continue to burden future generations and be compounded with the trauma from the ongoing experience of racism today. Trauma can result in post-traumatic stress disorder and increased stress. Chronic stress increases the risk of developing chronic diseases including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and hypertension.2,3,4

Additional Information and Footnotes

Hispanic is used to reflect current data collection practices. We acknowledge this may not be the preferred term. Throughout this report, NH refers to Non-Hispanic. People of color refers to individuals identifying as Black, American Indian/Alaska Native, Asian, Hispanic, Native Hawaiian, Pacific Islander, and Other. Unless otherwise noted, adults are ages 18+. Data are most recently available for the specified data source.

1 Bryant-Davis, T. & Ocampo, C. (2005). The Trauma of Racism: Implications for Counseling, Research, and Education. The Counseling Psychologist, 33.4, 574-578. DOI: 10.1177/0011000005276581

2 Denham, A. (2008). Rethinking Historical Trauma: Narratives of Resilience. Transcultural psychiatry, 45.3, 391-414. DOI: 10.1177/1363461508094673

3 Bichell, R. (2017). Scientists Start to Tease Out the Subtler Ways Racism Hurts Health. National Public Radio; Shots. Retrieved from https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2017/11/11/562623815/scientists-start-to-tease-out-the-subtler-ways-racism-hurts-health

4 Sotero, M. (2006). A Conceptual Model of Historical Trauma: Implications for Public Health Practice and Research. Journal of Health Disparities Research and Practice, 1(1), 93-108. Retrieved from https://ssrn.com/abstract=1350062

5 Edlagan, C. & Vaghul, K. (2016). How data disaggregation matters for Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. Retrieved from https://equitablegrowth.org/how-data-disaggregation-matters-for-asian-americans-and-pacific-islanders/

6 Roelofs, C., Azaroff, L., Holcroft, C., Nguyen, H., & Doan, T. (2008). Results from a Community-based Occupational Health Survey of Vietnamese-American Nail Salon Workers. Journal of Immigrant Minority Health, 10, 353–361. DOI: 10.1007/s10903-007-9084-4

7 Azaroff, L., Levenstein, C., & Wegman, D. H. (2003). Occupational health of Southeast Asian immigrants in a US city: a comparison of data sources. American journal of public health, 93(4), 593–598. https://doi.org/10.2105/ajph.93.4.593

8 Quinn, M.M., Sembajwe, G., Stoddard, A., Kriebel, D., Krieger, N., Sorensen, G., Hartman, C., Naishadham, D., & Barbeau, E. (2007), Social disparities in the burden of occupational exposures: Results of a cross‐sectional study. American Journal of Industrial Medicine, 50: 861-875. DOI: 10.1002/ajim.20529

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