Key roles of community connectedness in healing from trauma

Katie Schultz, Lauren B. Cattaneo, Chiara Sabina, Lisa Brunner, Sabeth Jackson, Josephine V. Serrata

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

46 Scopus citations


Objective: Connection to community has been identified as a protective factor in the experience of trauma, but many interventions have acted inadvertently to ignore or not account for the potential for disruption to connections within communities. We examine the role of community connectedness in relation to healing from individual and community experiences of trauma, drawing from culturally specific interventions that give a central role to connection. Key Points: Connection to community matters for those who have experienced trauma, yet many interventions do not build on or in some cases disrupt positive connections to community. This commentary examines Latino and American Indian/Alaska Native communities for examples of this disruption and how those communities have responded with culturally specific interventions to increase community connections. The mechanisms through which community connectedness operates in these examples include accountability, community norming, and belonging and identity. Conclusions: Researchers and practitioners must consider how interventions impact community connectedness, and increasing capacity for connection should be targeted in healing efforts. We suggest more theorizing on the mechanisms that potentially enable community connectedness to buffer the effects of trauma and implications for intervention. Community-informed efforts have the potential to be more effective and sustainable in reducing the impact of trauma on families and societies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)42-48
Number of pages7
JournalPsychology of Violence
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Psychology
  • Health(social science)
  • Applied Psychology


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