Immigrant Trauma and Mental Health Outcomes Among Latino Youth

  • Sean D. Cleary
  • Ryan Snead
  • Daniela Dietz-Chavez
  • Ivonne Rivera
  • Mark C. Edberg
Original Paper


While research has demonstrated an association between trauma and mental health, this study examined the association between trauma experienced premigration, during migration, and postmigration, and current mental health status among Latino youth aged 12–17 years old living in the US for < 3 years. Participants reported traumatic events experienced in their home country, during migration, and after settling in the US. Regression models examined trauma experienced at each stage of the migration process predicting current levels of depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder. Two-thirds of youth experienced at least one traumatic event, 44% experienced an event once, and 23% experienced two or more traumatic events during migration. Trauma experienced at different migration stages was associated with distinctive mental health outcomes. It is essential that access to culturally sensitive assessment and treatment services be available to ensure transition to a healthy adulthood.


Trauma Latino Youth Mental health Immigrant 



This research was funded through a P20 exploratory research center grant supported by a grant (#1P20MD006898) from the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities within the National Institutes of Health. We would like to thank the youth and their parents for participating in the research and our community partner, the Rivera Group, for their support. The views expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not represent views of the funding agency.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sean D. Cleary
    • 1
  • Ryan Snead
    • 1
  • Daniela Dietz-Chavez
    • 1
  • Ivonne Rivera
    • 2
  • Mark C. Edberg
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Epidemiology & Biostatistics, Milken Institute School of Public HealthGeorge Washington UniversityWashingtonUSA
  2. 2.Rivera Group, Inc.WashingtonUSA
  3. 3.Department of Prevention and Community Health, Milken Institute School of Public HealthGeorge Washington UniversityWashingtonUSA

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