The United States holds a historical legacy of oppression as well as a current sociopolitical climate of unrest due to the systemic perpetuation of injustice. Although there is a growing body of research literature on traditional conceptualizations of trauma in marginalized populations, there remains limited research that focuses on the confluence of racism and trauma in the lived experiences of these populations.
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 posttraumatic stress symptom reactions (Sibrava et al., 2019).
This webinar provides an overview of the ways in which racial discrimination impacts the health and well-being of Black Americans, a marginalized population that disproportionately experiences racial health disparities influenced by race-related stress. This webinar also further elucidate the importance of examining racial discrimination in the conceptualization of trauma experiences and treatments.
At the end of this session, participants will be able to:
1. Have an increased awareness of historical consciousness of racism-related experiences (e.g., interpersonal, systemic/structural, & vicarious) and historical unjust legacies than can exacerbate current health disparities for Black Americans.
2. Understand the unique challenges and clinical issues present in experiences of race-based stress and trauma among Black Americans.
Dr. Carter is an Assistant Professor in clinical and community psychology at Georgia State University. Her research focuses on racial health disparities and investigating how psychosocial and contextual stressors can affect both mental and physical health outcomes for underrepresented and marginalized populations across the life course. She has had a long-standing interest in the ways that health disparities in Black American populations arise and are maintained by psychological, physiological, and contextual processes. A common theme throughout much of her work has been examining how racial discrimination, as an acute and chronic stressor, effects development and exacerbation of chronic illnesses and stress-related disorders across the life course. Her research aims to aid in improved identification of mechanisms that can be targeted in prevention and treatment efforts to reduce racial health disparities.