Immigrant Trauma and Mental Health Outcomes Among Latino Youth

Author(s): Sean D. CLEARY ; Ryan SNEAD ; Daniela DIETZ-CHAVEZ ; Ivonne RIVERA ; Mark C. EDBERG


While research has demonstrated an association between trauma and mental health, this study examined the association between trauma experienced premigration, during migration, and postmigration, and current mental health status among Latino youth aged 12–17 years old living in the US for < 3 years. Participants reported traumatic events experienced in their home country, during migration, and after settling in the US. Regression models examined trauma experienced at each stage of the migration process predicting current levels of depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder. Two-thirds of youth experienced at least one traumatic event, 44% experienced an event once, and 23% experienced two or more traumatic events during migration. Trauma experienced at different migration stages was associated with distinctive mental health outcomes. It is essential that access to culturally sensitive assessment and treatment services be available to ensure transition to a healthy adulthood.


Trauma, Latino, Youth, Mental health, Immigrant 

Tags: United States, Latin America, Latinos, Children, Adolescents, Youth, Trauma, Traumatic life events, Depression, Anxiety, PTSD

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