Childhood Adversity and Internalizing Problems: Evidence of a Race Mental Health Paradox
adversities, childhood mental health, race-ethnicity, stress, trauma
Society and Mental Health
Health disparities scholars describe the existence of a race mental health paradox—specifically, when black adults face higher levels of adversity compared with whites yet have similar or better mental health outcomes. Whether such a paradox exists among youth is unclear. Using data from the Longitudinal Studies of Child Abuse and Neglect, I examine black–white differences in children’s internalizing problems scores and consider the role of childhood adversities. Black children experience more adversity within family and neighborhood domains and cumulatively across ecological levels yet have comparable or better mental health at age 4 that endures over the early life course compared with white children (p <.05). Evidence suggests that among children with the greatest adversity (at the parent level), having three supportive adults and high degrees of support at age 6 were more effective for black youth than their white peers in diminishing risk for internalizing problems later in childhood (p <.05).
Original Publication Date
DOI of published version
UNI ScholarWorks, Rod Library, University of Northern Iowa
Kysar-Moon, Ashleigh, "Childhood Adversity and Internalizing Problems: Evidence of a Race Mental Health Paradox" (2020). Faculty Publications. 292.