Journal of Child and Family Studies

, Volume 28, Issue 1, pp 84–90 | Cite as

Trauma Screening in Recently Immigrated Youth: Data from Two Spanish-Speaking Samples

  • Amanda C. VentaEmail author
  • Alfonso Mercado
Original Paper


There have been large, recent increases in the number of children and families migrating from Central America to the U.S. to escape regional cartel and gang violence. The rate of trauma exposure in recently immigrated youth from Central America is therefore alarmingly high and current trauma symptom measures have not been evaluated for use in this population. The broad goal of this study was to report on the psychometric properties of one such measure in two studies of recently immigrated youth. Data collected included self-report of recent immigrants from Central America attending public high school in the Southwestern U.S. and caregiver-report from a sample of Central American immigrants who arrived in the U.S. within the last 24 hours and reported on trauma symptoms in their children. Aims included providing descriptive data and examining inter-item correlations and factor structure. Results indicated trauma symptoms far exceeding published cutoff levels as well as adequate internal consistency and inter-item correlations. Findings of the current studies suggest a pressing need for the assessment of trauma symptoms among recently immigrated youth from Central America, in which the rates of exposure and symptoms were striking.


Trauma PTSD Immigrant Youth Spanish CPSS Hispanic Central America 


Author Contributions

AV: collaborated with the design and execution of both studies, conducted the data analyses, and wrote the paper. AM: collaborated with the design of study 2, executed data collection for study 2, and participated in editing of the final manuscript.


University of Texas System, Office of Global Engagement, Co-Is: Mercado & Venta. SHSU Center for Enhancing Undergraduate Research Experiences and Creative Activities, PI: Venta. SHSU Enhancement Research Grant, PI: Venta.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional review boards at Sam Houston State University and the University of Texas- Rio Grande Valley as well as with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.

Conflict of Interest

Author AV has received research grants from SHSU. Authors AV and AM have received a research grant from the UT System.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Psychology & PhilosophySam Houston State UniversityHuntsvilleUSA
  2. 2.Department of Psychological ScienceUniversity of Texas- Rio Grande ValleyBrownsvilleUSA

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