The Influence of Multiple Oppressions on Women of Color’s Experiences With Insidious Trauma

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In this study, we examined the relations between multiple forms of oppressive experiences (i.e., racism, sexism, and sexual objectification) and trauma symptoms among Women of Color (WOC). In addition, self-esteem was explored as a partial mediating variable in these links, and ethnic identity strength was proposed to buffer the negative relationship between multiple forms of oppression and self-esteem, and the positive relationship between oppressive experiences and trauma symptoms. Results suggested that self-esteem partially mediated the positive relationship between racist experiences and trauma symptoms, such that racism was related to lower self-esteem, which was then related to more trauma symptoms. Sexism and sexual objectification were directly linked with trauma symptoms. Moreover, average and high levels of ethnic identity strength buffered the positive link between racism and trauma symptoms. Consistent with an additive intersectionality framework, results demonstrate the importance of attending to multiple forms of oppression as they relate to trauma symptoms among WOC.

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