Get access

Racial and ethnic differences in symptom severity of PTSD, GAD, and depression in trauma-exposed, urban, treatment-seeking adults

Authors

  • Bita Ghafoori,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Advanced Studies in Education and Counseling, California State University, Long Beach, Long Beach, California, USA
    • Department of Advanced Studies in Education and Counseling, California State University, Long Beach, 1250 Bellflower Boulevard, Long Beach, CA 90840-2201
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Belen Barragan,

    1. Department of Advanced Studies in Education and Counseling, California State University, Long Beach, Long Beach, California, USA
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Niloufar Tohidian,

    1. Department of Advanced Studies in Education and Counseling, California State University, Long Beach, Long Beach, California, USA
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Lawrence Palinkas

    1. School of Social Work, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California, USA
    Search for more papers by this author

  • Support was provided by NIH grant 1P20MD003942-01. The authors acknowledge the assistance of Dennis Fisher, Kristin Powers, Alina Sgattoni, Lawrence Alexander III, Chelsea Edgecumbe, and Olga Korosteleva.

Abstract

Urban, socially disadvantaged individuals are at high risk for traumatic event exposure and its subsequent psychiatric symptomatology. This study examined the association between race/ethnicity and symptom severity of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), and depression in an urban clinical sample of 170 trauma-exposed adults. In addition, this study investigated the role of socioeconomic position (SEP) and coping style in the relationship between race/ethnicity and posttrauma psychiatric symptom severity. Hierarchical regression analyses indicated that Blacks had lower depression symptom severity compared to Whites. No significant relationship was found between racial/ethnic group status and indices of SEP, PTSD, or GAD symptom severity. Adjustment for trauma exposure, gender, positive reframe coping, avoidance coping and negative coping accounted for 3%, 3%, 8%, 4%, and 3% of the variance in depression severity, respectively; however, Black race remained significantly associated with decreased depression symptom severity accounting for a statistically significant 5% of the variance in lower depression symptom severity. These preliminary findings and their clinical implications are discussed.

Ancillary