Conceptualizing and measuring historical trauma among American Indian people

Les B. Whitbeck, Gary W. Adams, Dan R. Hoyt, Xiaojin Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

320 Scopus citations

Abstract

This article reports on the development of two measures relating to historical trauma among American Indian people: The Historical Loss Scale and The Historical Loss Associated Symptoms Scale. Measurement characteristics including frequencies, internal reliability, and confirmatory factor analyses were calculated based on 143 American Indian adult parents of children aged 10 through 12 years who are part of an ongoing longitudinal study of American Indian families in the upper Midwest. Results indicate both scales have high internal reliability. Frequencies indicate that the current generation of American Indian adults have frequent thoughts pertaining to historical losses and that they associate these losses with negative feelings. Two factors of the Historical Loss Associated Symptoms Scale indicate one anxiety/depression component and one anger/avoidance component. The results are discussed in terms of future research and theory pertaining to historical trauma among American Indian people.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)119-130
Number of pages12
JournalAmerican Journal of Community Psychology
Volume33
Issue number3-4
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2004

Keywords

  • American Indians
  • Historical grief
  • Historical trauma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Applied Psychology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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