Response to trauma in Haitian youth at risk

Richard Douyon, Louis Herns Marcelin, Michèle Jean-Gilles, J. Bryan Page

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


In order to characterize undesirable behavior (drug use, fighting, criminal activity) among Haitian youth at risk and determine the relationship between traumatic experience and that kind of behavior, investigators recruited 292 Haitian youths via networks of informal social relations in two zones of Miami/Dade County strongly identified with Haitian ethnicity. Each recruit responded to an interview schedule eliciting sociodemographic information and self-reported activities, including involvement in youth-dominated groups. They also reported traumatic experience. Clinicians administered CAPS to a subset of those respondents who self-reported traumatic experience. Staff ethnographers selected respondents for in-depth interviews and family studies to provide contextual depth for findings of the interview schedule and the CAPS assessments. Although traumatic experience may still play a role in mental health outcomes among children, childhood victimization among Haitian children does not appear to be related to the drug use and undesirable behaviors associated with unsupervised youth, including formation of gangs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)115-138
Number of pages24
JournalJournal of Ethnicity in Substance Abuse
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2005


  • Drug selling
  • Haitians
  • Trauma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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