Acculturation and Peritraumatic Dissociation in Young Adult Latino Survivors of Community Violence

Published in: Journal of Abnormal Psychology, v. 111, no. 1, Feb. 2002, p. 166-174.

Posted on RAND.org on January 01, 2002

by Grant N. Marshall, Maria Orlando Edelen

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This study examined the relationship between acculturation and peritraumatic dissociation in a sample of 304 physically injured Latino survivors of community violence. Item response theory analyses were conducted to document the measurement equivalence of English- and Spanish-language versions of a scale measuring peritraumatic dissociation. After establishing equivalence, structural equation modeling was used to determine the impact of acculturation on peritraumatic dissociation after controlling for other relevant covariates, including assault characteristics, intoxication before the assault, and trauma exposure history. Acculturation emerged as a significant and negative predictor of dissociation, so that high levels of acculturation were associated with low levels of peritraumatic dissociation. These findings offer a counterinstance to the emerging consensus that retention of Latin American cultural traditions serves to promote mental health.

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