Racism-Related Experiences and Traumatic Stress Symptoms in Ethnoracially Minoritized Youth: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

Lillian Polanco-Roman, Chantel T. Ebrahimi, Emily N. Satinsky, Erik M. Benau, Aline Martins Lanes, Mythili Iyer, Chardée A. Galán

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: Despite growing evidence demonstrating the association between racial and ethnic discrimination and traumatic stress symptoms in adult populations, the research among youth remains sparse. Drawing upon race-based traumatic stress models, and following the PRISMA-2020 guidelines, this systematic review and meta-analysis aimed to identify the state of the empirical evidence in the association between racism-related experiences and traumatic stress symptoms in ethnoracially minoritized youth. Method: Scientific databases were searched to identify articles with ethnoracially minoritized youth participants under age 18 years old that examined the association between racial and/or ethnic discrimination and traumatic stress symptoms. Results: A total of 18 articles comprising 16 studies (N = 4,825 participants) met inclusion criteria. Studies were largely cross-sectional, used nonrandom sampling strategies, focused on Black and Latinx youth, and were conducted in the United States. Furthermore, most studies were theoretically grounded and operationalized racism-related experiences as frequency of direct, personal, everyday discrimination. Few studies examined other dimensions of racism-related experiences. The meta-analysis demonstrated a significant positive association with a medium effect size, rpooled =.356, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.27, 0.44, between racism-related experiences and traumatic stress symptoms. No evidence of moderation by age, sex/gender, race/ethnicity, country, or recruitment setting was detected. Conclusion: Racism-related experiences may confer risk for traumatic stress symptoms in ethnoracially minoritized youth. Attending to racism-related experiences is critical to improve the cultural responsiveness of trauma-informed services.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology
StateAccepted/In press - 2024

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology

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