Mexican americans and historical trauma theory: A theoretical perspective

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47 Scopus citations


The observed intergenerational stress response to negative social and historical events is at the core of historical trauma theory, which has been applied to Native Americans, African Americans, and Pacific Islanders, among others. The historical and social experiences of the Mexican population living in the United States have many parallels that lend themselves to the application of historical trauma theory to macro-level and micro-level influences on access to health care, physical health status, and mental health status, including substance abuse among Mexican Americans. This article highlights the legacy of Spanish colonialism and Anglo-American neo-colonialism on Mexicans and Mexican Americans in the southwestern United States through a potential application of historical trauma theory.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)330-340
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Ethnicity in Substance Abuse
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 2009


  • Historical trauma
  • Mexican Americans
  • Stress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Health(social science)


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