142nd APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition

Annual Meeting Recordings are now available for purchase

Trauma, PTSD and incarceration history in a nationally representative sample of African Americans

142nd APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition (November 15 - November 19, 2014): http://www.apha.org/events-and-meetings/annual
Tuesday, November 18, 2014 : 8:30 AM - 8:50 AM

Lena Jäggi, MLaw M.S. , Psychology, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA
Briana Mezuk, PhD , Department of Family Medicine and Population Health, Division of Epidemiology, Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine, Richmond, VA
Research with inmates and veterans has demonstrated a strong link between being a victim and being a perpetrator of crime, especially in the context of chronic victimization. Trauma exposure and PTSD in impoverished inner-city populations across the U.S. is alarmingly high. Strong associations between civilian PTSD, trauma and incarceration histories have been found in convenience samples. However, knowledge of this relationship in representative community samples is limited.

Methods: Using data from the restricted part of the National Survey of American Life (NSAL), this presentation investigates the connection between type/severity of trauma and involvement with the criminal justice system in a nationally representative sample of African Americans and Afro-Caribbeans in the U.S. The study specifically explores how type of trauma moderates the relationship between exposure to trauma, developing PTSD, likelihood of arrest and length of incarceration across both genders.

Findings: In the included sample of 5,189 respondents (36.9% male), 79.7% reported one or more traumatic events; 31.9% reported more than three events. The lifetime prevalence for PTSD was 8.0%. Incarceration histories showed that 14.3 % (n=471 men; n=269 women) have been confined and 27.2% (n=864 men; n=548 women) have been arrested. As expected, preliminary results showed elevated rates of both trauma and contact with the criminal justice system in the sample. A series of ANOVAs, and logistic regression models were used to evaluate associations between types of trauma, incarceration and the moderating role of gender.

Learning Areas:

Public health or related public policy
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Describe trauma, arrest and incarceration in a national sample of African Americans Discuss the relationship between trauma and risk of involvement in the criminal justice system

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a graduate student in developmental psychology with a Swiss law degree, specialization criminal law and criminology. My area of interest and work are (juvenile) offenders, consequences and correlates of incarceration for offenders, their families and communities, and prevention of youth violence.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.