Racial trauma: Theory, research, and healing: Introduction to the special issue

Am Psychol. 2019 Jan;74(1):1-5. doi: 10.1037/amp0000442.


Racial trauma, a form of race-based stress, refers to People of Color and Indigenous individuals' (POCI) reactions to dangerous events and real or perceived experiences of racial discrimination. Such experiences may include threats of harm and injury, humiliating and shaming events, and witnessing racial discrimination toward other POCI. Although similar to posttraumatic stress disorder, racial trauma is unique in that it involves ongoing individual and collective injuries due to exposure and reexposure to race-based stress. The articles in this special issue introduce new conceptual approaches, research, and healing models to challenge racial trauma. The authors encourage psychologists to develop culturally informed healing modalities and methodologically sophisticated research and urge the inclusion of public policy interventions in the area of racial trauma. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2019 APA, all rights reserved).

Publication types

  • Introductory Journal Article

MeSH terms

  • Historical Trauma*
  • Humans
  • Psychology, Social
  • Racism*
  • Stress, Psychological*