Journal of Urban Health

, Volume 91, Issue 4, pp 707–719 | Cite as

Trauma Exposure and Posttraumatic Stress Disorder among Incarcerated Men

  • Nancy Wolff
  • Jessica Huening
  • Jing Shi
  • B. Christopher Frueh


Trauma exposure and trauma-related symptoms are prevalent among incarcerated men, suggesting a need for behavioral health intervention. A random sample of adult males (N = 592) residing in a single high-security prison were screened for trauma exposure and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms. Trauma was a universal experience among incarcerated men. Rates of current PTSD symptoms and lifetime PTSD were significantly higher (30 to 60 %) than rates found in the general male populations (3 to 6 %). Lifetime rates of trauma and PTSD were associated with psychiatric disorders. This study suggests the need for a gender-sensitive response to trauma among incarcerated men with modification for comorbid mental disorders and type of trauma exposure. Developing gender-sensitive trauma interventions for incarcerated men and testing them is necessary to improve the behavioral health outcomes of incarcerated men who disproportionately return to urban communities.


Trauma PTSD Incarcerated men Integrated treatment 



This study was supported by grant R01-MH095206 from the National Institute of Mental Health


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Copyright information

© The New York Academy of Medicine 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nancy Wolff
    • 1
  • Jessica Huening
    • 1
  • Jing Shi
    • 1
  • B. Christopher Frueh
    • 2
    • 3
  1. 1.Center for Behavioral Health Services and Criminal Justice ResearchRutgers UniversityNew BrunswickUSA
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyUniversity of HawaiiHiloUSA
  3. 3.The Menninger ClinicHoustonUSA

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