Does Childhood Trauma Affect Minorities Differently?

Today, the idea that childhood trauma, formally called ACEs for Adverse Childhood Experiences, has an affect on health long-term, is becoming common place. We are understanding more and more that what we experience as children creates a significant impact on our physical and psychological health. The more ACEs we are exposed to, the more at risk we are for developing mental illnesses, PTSD, and physical illnesses. Trauma lives in our bodies and our minds until we are finally able to resolve the pain in a healing, therapeutic way. If we don’t cope with and release our trauma, our trauma maintains a toxic hold on our health, happiness, and our lives.

JAMA Pediatrics released a new study on Monday, September 17th, which suggests that not all children experience the long-term effects of traumatic events the same way. To date, NPR notes, this is the “largest nationally representative study to date” on the effects of ACEs. Results from the study made clear two pertinent ideas. First, ACEs are a universal experience. Meaning, the experience of trauma in any form is not exclusive to only certain kinds of children. Children of any race, economic class, gender identity, nationality, and any other defining factor, are vulnerable to the experience of trauma and will likely encounter at least one or more traumatic event in their lives. However, as the results of the study also found, how the children are affected by these traumatic experiences are not universal. “People with low-income and educational attainment, people of color and people who identified as gay, lesbian or bisexual had significantly higher chance of having experienced adversity in childhood. Color, income, education, and sexual identity can constitute what is considered to be a “minority” classification. According to this research, minorities are affected by trauma in childhood differently because they are affected by trauma in childhood more often.

How Can We Help?

Compassion is key in helping anyone cope with any trauma they have experienced. As we grow in our understanding of how intricately trauma can affect our lives, we can grow our sense of empathy toward others. Knowing that certain people are likely to have experienced a greater number of traumatic events in their child should mean that we have an even greater sense of empathy and compassion toward them. Everything in their mind, body, and spirit has been affected by every single aspect of every single traumatic event in their lives.

If we know someone who is actively struggling to overcome the symptoms of PTSD, trauma, or many the manifestations of trauma, we can encourage them to seek treatment.

Stop the cycle of merry-go-round treatment and find the solution you’re looking for in trauma treatment. Through effective residential treatment, Khiron House helps you find the path you need toward health and wellness in recovery. For information, call us today. UK: 020 3811 2575 (24 hours). USA: (866) 801 6184 (24 hours).