Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health

, Volume 20, Issue 6, pp 1458–1467 | Cite as

Psychological Outcomes of Within-Group Sexual Violence: Evidence of Cultural Betrayal

  • Jennifer M. Gómez
  • Jennifer J. Freyd
Original Paper


Cultural betrayal trauma theory is a new framework for understanding trauma-related mental health outcomes in immigrant and minority populations. The purpose of the current study is to empirically test cultural betrayal trauma theory. We hypothesized that the association between within-group sexual violence and mental health outcomes would be stronger for minorities. Participants (N = 368) were minority and majority college students, who completed online measures of sexual violence victimization and mental health outcomes. A MANOVA revealed that the link between within-group sexual violence and total trauma symptoms, depression, sexual abuse sequelae, sleep disturbance, and sexual problems was stronger for minorities. This study provides evidence for cultural betrayal trauma theory, as the findings suggest that outcomes from the same experience—within-group sexual violence—is affected by minority status. This work has implications for how mental health is understood, investigated, and treated in immigrant and minority populations.


Cultural betrayal trauma theory Rape Dissociation Trauma symptom checklist College students 


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Copyright information

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

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Merrill Palmer Skillman InstituteWayne State UniversityDetroitUSA
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyUniversity of OregonEugeneUSA

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