Prevalence of Sexual Violence and Posttraumatic Stress Disorder in an Urban African-American Population

Kate Walsh, Karestan C. Koenen, Allison E. Aiello, Monica Uddin, Sandro Galea

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Sexual violence is prevalent nationally and contributes to psychopathology in the general population. Despite elevated traumatic event exposure among economically disadvantaged urban-dwelling African-Americans, there is insufficient information on lifetime sexual violence exposure and associated psychopathology in this population. In 2008–2009, 1,306 African-Americans from a Detroit household probability sample reported on lifetime rape and sexual assault and past-month and lifetime posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Lifetime sexual violence prevalence was 26.3 % for women and 5.1 % for men. Relative to non-victims, sexual violence victims: reported more other traumatic events; had 4 times greater unadjusted odds of past-month and lifetime PTSD; had 1.6 times greater adjusted odds of lifetime PTSD only after controlling for other traumatic events. Sexual violence was associated with increased risk for lifetime PTSD and exposure to other traumas. Findings highlight a need to screen for sexual violence and PTSD among urban African-Americans.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1307-1310
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of immigrant and minority health
Issue number6
StatePublished - Oct 30 2014


  • African-Americans
  • Posttraumatic
  • Rape
  • Stress disorders

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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