Disrupting single stories, broadening the aperture, and embracing the trauma socioexposome in research with minoritized individuals: A commentary

This article was originally published here

J Trauma Stress. 2021 Oct 13. doi: 10.1002/jts.22747. Online ahead of print.


The theory-driven studies in this special issue of the Journal of Traumatic Stress illustrate the opportunities and inherent methodological complexities that arise in traumatic stress studies when scholars consider the unique social-ecological contexts and exposure histories of minoritized individuals. Moreover, the included articles challenge the field’s paradigmatic preoccupation with maladaptive individual trauma responses and invite researchers to shift their attention to the role played by a range of environmental adversities. This commentary is organized around three key recommendations regarding what is needed to enhance future research and treatment among trauma-exposed minoritized populations: (a) disrupt single scientific stories about trauma risk, detection, protection, and resilience; (b) embrace the complexity of the trauma socioexposome; and (c) expand capacity to assess, research, and mitigate syndemic risk. The present commentary describes how these key points are highlighted and underscored in the articles in this special issue, arriving at the conclusion that, more than ever, scholars and clinicians need lenses and methods that can help in assessing and treating the whole person and community from a biopsychosocial perspective when racism contibutes to a complex trauma socioexposome rather than perpetuating scientific and clinical models based only on single stories of isolated individuals confronted by discrete traumatic events.

PMID:34647361 | DOI:10.1002/jts.22747