Throughout time, ethnoracial groups have endured a range of traumatic experiences as historically marginalized members of the United States. The consequences of these experiences have been referred to as historical trauma (HT): a collective trauma, inflicted on a group of people who share a specific identity, that has psychological, physical, and social impacts on succeeding generations. In this review, we examine the literature on HT in relation to US ethnoracial groups by defining HT, providing a background for its development, and describing critiques of the concept. We then review the literature on HT in relation to Indigenous Americans, African Americans, and Asian Americans. For each group, we address the nature of HT, the transmission of HT and its impacts, and healing strategies. We conclude with a summary of the benefits, limitations, and complexities of HT research as well as recommendations for future work in this area.

Expected final online publication date for the , Volume 20 is May 2024. Please see http://www.annualreviews.org/page/journal/pubdates for revised estimates.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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