• American Indian;
  • adolescent;
  • post traumatic stress disorder;
  • substance abuse treatment centers;
  • trauma

In this study the authors examined the prevalence and correlates of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and trauma symptomatology among a sample of 89 American Indian adolescents in a residential substance abuse treatment program. These youths reported an average of 4.1 lifetime traumas, with threat of injury and witnessing injury being most common; molestation, rape, and sexual attack were least common. Approximately 10% of participants met the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual IV Text Revision (DSM–IV–TR) criteria for full PTSD. and about 14% met the criteria for subthreshold PTSD. Molestation (including rape and sexual attack), experiencing 6 or more traumas, and a diagnosis of abuse of or dependence on stimulants were significantly associated with PTSD. Findings indicated that trauma was a pervasive phenomenon among this population, with sexual traumas being particularly stigmatizing, resulting in high rates of posttraumatic symptomatology, specifically PTSD.