The stress-sensitization model and mental health in Mexican Americans: Does neuroticism matter?




Knight, Cory

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The current study investigated whether exposure to childhood trauma would predict higher levels of depressive, somatic, and Post Traumatic Stress (PTS) symptoms in Mexican American adults. Additionally, the moderating role of neuroticism was examined between childhood trauma, depressive, somatic, and PTS symptoms. This cross sectional study used a sample of 105 Mexican American college students from the University of Texas at San Antonio. Regression analyses found that Mexican Americans with greater levels of childhood trauma exposure also had higher levels of depressive and PTS symptoms in adulthood. Surprisingly, neuroticism did not strengthen the relationship between childhood trauma, depressive, somatic, and PTS symptoms in Mexican Americans. This study suggests that Mexican Americans are exposed to high rates of childhood trauma and may be sensitized to developing psychopathology in adulthood. Future research is needed to better explain these findings.


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Childhood Trauma, Mental Health, Mexican Americans, Neuroticism